When two married individuals desire to get a divorce without publicly “airing” their dirty laundry in court, an uncontested divorce may be a good method for obtaining the divorce.
What Is An Uncontested Divorce?
In Tennessee, in order to get a divorce you need use one of the grounds listed under TCA 36-4-101. One of these family law grounds for divorce is Irreconcilable Difference which is often referred to as a no-fault divorce. Calling an Irreconcilable Difference divorce a “no-fault” divorce may be a bit of a misnomer, as Irreconcilable Difference requires both spouses to agree on ALL points of the divorce. Before the Court will sign off on the agreement, the Court must determine the agreement is fair and must cover but is not limited to:
Division of money, property and debts;
Parenting Plan and Visitation (including who will be the Primary Residential Parent); and
Once the spouses agree on all points of the divorce, they must put the agreement into writing and BOTH spouses must sign then notarize the agreement before they can file it with the court.
What Is Required For Irreconcilable Differences Divorce.
An attorney is not required for an Irreconcilable Difference divorce but is highly recommended, even if the parties are in full agreement on all the terms.
If there has been a contest of denial of grounds of Irreconcilable Difference, no Irreconcilable Difference divorce will be granted. However, a divorce may be granted on the grounds of Irreconcilable Difference where there has been a contest or denial, if a properly executed Marital Dissolution Agreement is presented to the court. Using an attorney to draft the Marital Dissolution Agreement is recommended to ensure the agreement covers everything required your local court.
What Will I Be Able To Do Or Not Do.
Upon the filing of a petition for divorce, Tennessee law sets out Automatic Injunctions (a.k.a Automatic Restraining Orders) that both spouses must obey. The spouses must not:
Disobey the Court Order for Divorcing Spouses;
Spend, give away, destroy, waste or use up property from the marriage ; or
Harass each other; or
Stop or change insurance policies; or
Hide, change, or destroy evidence kept on a computer or memory storage device.
With Irreconcilable Differences as a grounds for divorce, neither you nor your spouse will have to prove that either party did something wrong. Before the divorce will be finalized, the petition for divorce must be on file for 60 days if there are no minor children; and 90 days if there are children. Additionally, all divorcing spouses with minor children will be required to attend a Parenting Education Class.
Advantages To Irreconcilable Differences.
There may be many advantages and disadvantages with uncontested divorces. Just a few advantages may are:
There are fewer court papers.
Cuts down on time spent on divorce.
More privacy (Avoiding the adversarial process of litigation may help to avoid having intimate and private life events “aired out” in public record.)
Each individual should analyze whether or not using Irreconcilable Differences, as a ground for divorce is appropriate for their own set of circumstances. An attorney can help you analyze whether or not Irreconcilable Difference is right for your set of circumstances.
Contact An Attorney.
Divorce is very jurisdiction-specific and requires a specialized knowledge of local law.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss a contested or uncontested divorce, contact one of Covenant Law Group’s attorneys.
Contact Attorney Leighton G. Linning or Ernie E. Gilkes for an initial consultation