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- Get an Annulment in Tennessee
- Who gets Child Custody
- Do It Yourself (DIY) Divorce
- Enforce Court Orders
- Grounds for Divorce
- Separation - Legal or otherwise
- Mediate your Divorce
- Modify Court Orders
- Parenting Plans mandatory
- Property divided by Divorce
- Relocating your child out of state
- Alimony - Spousal Support
- Visitation with non-custodial
- Child Support - who pays
- Tennessee Divorce Forms
Do It Yourself Divorce
In order to file for a no-fault divorce in Tennessee, you must state that there are irreconcilable differences, and that there are no disagreements between you and your spouse. You or your spouse must have been a Tennessee resident for at least 6 months prior to the filing. You must also show that you and your spouse have been living apart for at least 2 years in order to receive a no-fault divorce.
Presuming your divorce is uncontested (there are no major disagreements between you two), you will require one of the following packets: Uncontested no children with or without assets Uncontested with adult children with or without assets or Search for the right forms for you To begin the divorce, file a Petition for Divorce. This form will state irreconcilable differences and the details about your marriage. You must file your petition in the county where you two lived when you separated, in the county where your spouse (the Defendant) lives, or in the county you (the Petitioner) live.
Your uncontested divorce permits you to serve, or notify your spouse yourself either through the mail or in person, as long as your spouse signs a form acknowledging receipt and states an intention to respond. You are not required to use a professional process server. Once your spouse files the response, the court will schedule a hearing, no sooner than 60 days after your filing (or no sooner than 90 days if there are children in the picture). The courts in Tennessee schedule uncontested dockets, where your final hearing will occur.
Other couples will be called before and after your hearings. Think of a cattle call. You have the option of requesting a specific date and time to avoid the docket hearings. You make that request to the County Clerk’s office. How it all proceeds can vary depending on your local court system though. The Clerk of the Court can advise you on the process. Presuming your divorce is uncontested, you will create a Divorce Settlement Agreement with your spouse. In this document, you will agree to terms dividing assets and debt, property, alimony if any, and how, when, where and with whom your children will be cared for. Call it a “visitation schedule”, or a Parenting Plan. Pay particularly close attention to the Parenting Plan.
This is an agreement that you must follow for as long as your children are minors (and sometimes longer). We suggest you avoid cutting corners on the document (by using cookie-cutter parenting plans found on the internet). They simply don’t cover all the issues, and you need a parenting plan outline that will ask you questions you may not have thought of. Prepare your information before you complete a parenting plan. We recommend using free parenting plan worksheets available from About.com. Once you’ve completed that task, you must decide how you want to maintain the records of the plan.
Making paper copies will sometimes suffice, however, paper copies of parenting plans carry with them some risks. If your computer crashes and you don’t have a recent backup – well you know what that means – GONE. Paper copies allow plan changes due to the inevitable changes in children’s and parents schedules and activities, but with each change, you have to print the plan and send it to your ex and hope it does not get lost. It is not uncommon for one parent to claim a change in the children’s schedules was discussed and agreed upon with you when it really was not.
Changes to the schedule made weeks or months in advance can be forgotten if the paper-copy plan is not carefully kept. We recommend using an on-line parenting plan. You should first transfer the data collected on the worksheets (described above) to the on-line plan. One Mom told us that she and her Ex agreed that unless a change or addition to the kids schedule has been discussed AND agreed upon, it won’t appear on the on-line calendar they share, and if it ain’t on the calendar, it ain’t happening.
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