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Frequently Asked Questions About Tennessee Divorce


We will not sugarcoat it: going through a divorce is going to be tough for the vast majority of people. Even if you saw your divorce coming a long time ago, there is still history to sift through. Most people will be dealing with heightened emotions, frustration – and a level of confusion. Most people have not navigated the legal system, and might balk at the thought of court and unfamiliar court proceedings. While the thought of taking on unfamiliar legal processes may seem daunting, it is nothing you need to fear. Attorneys are legal professionals. And a seasoned divorce attorney can help you navigate through any issue that might be thrown your way.

Knowledge is power. As you prepare to embark upon your own divorce journey, it will serve you to gain familiarity with the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions divorce attorneys receive from clients.

How Long Should I Live in Tennessee Before Filing for Divorce?

In order for any court to be able to process and rule on a divorce case, the court must have jurisdiction of the case. The court is found to have jurisdiction over cases in which it has an established interest.

In order to have jurisdiction over a divorce case, either the plaintiff in the case or the defendant must have lived in Tennessee for the six months prior to the divorce being filed. If you try to submit the necessary papers before this time requirement has been met, you need to anticipate that the court will refuse to process the suit, citing lack of proper jurisdiction.

Does Tennessee Have a Mandatory Waiting Period?

Every state has independently developed many of their own separate laws pertaining to divorce. In some states, couples are required to be separated for a set amount of time before the courts will allow a divorce petition to move forward.

In Tennessee, no such waiting period exists. So long as you meet the above-discussed residency requirements then you can file for divorce the day you decide you want to end your marriage.

Do I Have to Stay Living in the State?

So long as Tennessee had jurisdiction when the divorce paperwork was filed, then Tennessee will retain jurisdiction and handle your divorce case. This is true even if one,  or both, of the spouses leave the state.

How Long will the Divorce Take?

Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast answer to this question. Every divorce is different. Some cases are very simple, others have many issues that take time to work through. At a bare minimum, if you have minor children then your divorce cannot be finalized until at least 90 days have passed from the day of filing.

Does my Spouse have to Agree to Divorce?

No. There are many, many divorced spouses out there who would not have agreed or chosen to go through the process.

However, you should be aware that in Tennessee, if your spouse does not agree to the divorce then the petitioner will need to allege, and prove, a “fault” ground of divorce.

Divorces where petitioners do not agree often become very contentious. Experienced legal counsel can help.

Contact Fort, Holloway & Rogers

No matter what wrinkle or issue is thrown your way in the midst of a divorce – you do not have to go through this momentous thing alone. The experienced Franklin divorce attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers have helped many clients navigate through divorce and land with their best foot forward. Contact our office to begin discussing your case today.



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