Divorce is often complicated, and you may worry about the impact that a drawn-out process will have on your family.
If you are considering a divorce in Tennessee, here is what you can expect.
Complaint and counter-complaint
The process begins when you file a complaint for divorce with your county court. This is a petition asking the court to grant you a divorce and includes key information about you, your spouse and any underage children. You will need to pay a filing fee, and your county Clerk of Court will then issue a summons.
After you file the complaint, you must serve your spouse with the summons and a copy of your divorce petition. Your spouse has 30 days to answer the complaint and file an optional counter-complaint.
Discovery, settlement and trial
During discovery, you and your spouse, or your legal representatives, gather financial records, admissions of fault, depositions and any other pertinent information that will affect the outcome of the divorce.
You may enter into settlement negotiations or seek mediation to try to come to an agreement about the division of assets, child custody and other relevant variables.
If a settlement is not reached, your case will go to trial, and a judge will make the final decisions. You and your spouse have 30 days to appeal.
After the courts grant your divorce, you will need to comply with the terms laid out by either your settlement or the judge. Your legal representative can ensure that you meet any post-divorce requirements.