Getting divorced does not have to be a long, expensive process. An uncontested divorce is an option if you and your spouse agree that you should dissolve your marriage and are on the same page regarding property distribution, alimony, and issues regarding your children.
Although it is possible to complete an uncontested divorce without a legal professional, it is wise to consult a seasoned matrimonial attorney before submitting your paperwork to the court. An experienced Red Bank uncontested divorce lawyer could review your documents, point out any problems, and save you time and money in the long run.
Tennessee state law requires that one spouse resides in this state for at least six months before filing for divorce. If only one spouse lives in the state, they should file for divorce in the county where they live. If both spouses live in the state, but in different counties, either county is an appropriate venue to file for divorce.
Parents of minor children living in different states and seeking an uncontested divorce should follow the divorce procedures in the state where the children live. A judge must review and approve the parenting plan and apply the laws of the state where the children reside. A local judge might refuse to issue a divorce decree if the children are not residents.
People seeking an uncontested divorce in Red Bank must cite a non-fault ground, or reason, for the divorce. This state recognizes irreconcilable differences as a no-fault ground for divorce. A couple without minor children who have lived apart for two years could use their separation as a no-fault ground. A spouse who wants to file for divorce citing a fault-based ground cannot seek an uncontested divorce. A knowledgeable Red Bank uncontested divorce attorney could explain a spouse’s alternatives in such circumstances.
Uncontested divorces happen quickly because the spouses invest time before the divorce in developing agreements that will govern their life apart. Many couples who get uncontested divorces have relatively simple finances and are childless. However, the process is open to couples with significant assets and minor children. Working toward an uncontested divorce prior to filing is worthwhile if the spouses can communicate effectively.
Spouses seeking an uncontested divorce in Red Bank must submit agreements regarding the dissolution of their marriage to the court with the Complaint for Divorce. The agreements must detail the couple’s arrangements regarding:
If the couple fails to submit a necessary agreement or a judge rejects an agreement, the proceeding converts to a contested divorce.
Once the spouses have filed all the appropriate paperwork, Tennessee Code Annotated §36-4-101 requires a waiting period. A judge will issue a divorce decree incorporating the spouses’ agreements after 60 days for couples without minor children and 90 days for couples with minor children.
Judges usually defer to spouses about matters related to finances, but the law requires them to scrutinize arrangements regarding children. A judge will review the parenting plan and child support agreement to ensure that it supports the children’s best interests.
The law lists multiple factors a judge could consider when deciding whether an agreement serves the children. Among the many issues the judge could consider are the:
This is a partial list, and a judge has the freedom to weigh the factors in the way that seems appropriate in the circumstances. Judges also may consider other factors they deem relevant in a specific case.
Judges typically agree to the arrangements parents deem best, but parents should be aware that a judge could reject a parenting plan the parents have developed if they do not believe it is in the child’s best interests. A well-practiced Red Bank uncontested divorce lawyer could explain whether a specific plan contains any red flags that might cause a judge to question it.
Couples in agreement about every aspect of their split can take advantage of the state’s uncontested divorce procedure. It allows you to decide between yourselves how to divide your property and parent your children. A judge needs to approve your agreement, but uncontested divorce allows you to dissolve your marriage quickly and inexpensively and retain control over the process.
A Red Bank uncontested divorce lawyer could offer a couple information about the process, help them negotiate agreements, and put them into the proper form for the court. Reach out today to speak with a capable legal professional.