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One of the most challenging decisions an individual may have to deal with involves filing for divorce. No one ever wants to believe that they may one day have to go to court to end their marriage.
Be that as it may, often couples realize that their last option is to file for a divorce and go their separate ways. For this reason, anyone contemplating a divorce in Tennessee must hire an experienced lawyer who can act as their legal advocate and protect their rights.
If you need legal assistance filing for a legal separation or divorce, contact Garner Law Firm, PLLC of Sumner County, TN, and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn what legal options are available.
Does Tennessee Have Grounds For a Divorce?
Tennessee law takes a hybrid approach to its divorce laws. For example, if a couple mutually agrees to an uncontested divorce, all one party must do is cite irreconcilable differences. An uncontested divorce has many advantages, such as being completed much quicker than a contested divorce.
Nevertheless, if one party does not agree, it becomes a contested or faulty divorce. However, in a contested divorce, one party must provide proof of grounds.
Tennessee has several grounds for divorce, which include:
- Domestic abuse
- Impotence or sterility
- Felony conviction
- Habitual alcohol or drug abuse
- Spouses with no minor children not residing in the same household for more than two years.
- Willful abandonment for one year without sufficient reason.
- The husband was unaware that the wife was pregnant by another before the marriage.
- Refusal of one spouse to move to Tennessee to be with the other spouse after living separately for two years.
- Abandonment or refusal of one spouse to provide for the other spouse even though they had the means to do so.
- Failure to reconcile for two years after a decree of separate maintenance has been entered by the court.
Suppose you are still trying to determine whether you must file a contested or uncontested divorce. In that case, you must immediately consult with a knowledgeable divorce and family lawyer from Garner Law Firm, PLLC, who can help you determine the best option for you.
What Type of Divorce Options Are Available?
There are several different ways to obtain a divorce in Tennessee. Of course, the option that anyone chooses must be right for their circumstances and meet specific legal criteria.
Options for divorce in Tennessee include:
- Uncontested divorce: An uncontested or no-fault divorce is typically the most rapid and cost-efficient method for obtaining a divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to the divorce terms. However, Tennessee law stipulates that only couples who do not have minor children living at home, own property together, or share retirement benefits are eligible to file for an uncontested divorce
- Contested Divorce: Contested divorce or divorce litigation involves both parties going to court and allowing a judge to decide their legal issues. A contested divorce takes significantly more time and legal fees than other types of divorce. However, if a couple cannot amicably agree to the terms of a divorce, then divorce litigation may be the right choice.
There are other legal alternatives that couples can utilize to avoid going to court, which include:
- Divorce mediation: Divorce mediation is a viable option for couples who cannot agree on all the terms of their divorce but wish to save money by settling their issues out of court. A third-party mediator meets with the couple and helps them resolve their differences, saving them the time and expenses of going to court. Although divorce mediation can be accomplished without the help of an attorney, it is always best for an individual to have legal representation to ensure their legal rights and interests are protected.
- Collaborative divorce: In a collaborative divorce, both spouses and their attorneys meet with one another outside of court to resolve their differences. Each party signs an agreement stating they negotiate with one another to settle their issues, saving time and money.
How is Marital Property Divided in Tennessee?
Tennessee is an equitable division state. However, equitable division does not necessarily mean that property is divided “equally” between the two parties. Instead, state law provides that property should be divided fairly and reasonably. However, “marital property” does not consist of any gifts, inheritances, or real or personal property owned before the marriage.
Tennessee law stipulates that a couple may work out the division of property themselves or with the court’s help. There are several factors the court will examine when trying to determine how marital property should be divided, which include:
- The length of the marriage.
- The age of each spouse.
- The mental and physical health of each spouse.
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including contributions made by homemakers.
- The financial debts and financial needs of each spouse.
- The skills and potential earning capacities of each spouse.
In high-asset divorce cases, you need an attorney with extensive experience who can thoroughly review financial statements and other legal documents to help you obtain a settlement that adequately satisfies your needs.
To ensure you receive a fair judgment, you must have a well-trained divorce attorney like Garner Law Firm, PLLC, who will represent your interests.
Why Should I Trust Your Law Firm to Represent Me in a Divorce Case?
If you are considering divorce proceedings, you will need a lawyer to fight for your rights and act as your legal advocate. Garner Law Firm, PLLC, of Sumner County, is dedicated to helping clients navigate the complex legal system and help them begin the next chapter of their lives.
Our legal team recognizes that going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging events you may ever have to endure. However, having skilled legal representation who can offer you advice can help you feel confident that your future will be protected.
Our divorce attorneys have experience in handling LGBTQ divorce issues and assisting individuals who have been separated for a considerable amount of time to file for divorce. Contact Garner Law Firm, PLLC, in Hendersonville, TN, at 615-502-4336 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.