Filing for Divorce in TN
Franklin divorce attorney helps clients get a fair resolution
When you decide you want to divorce your spouse, you probably feel like it can’t happen soon enough. By the time you make the decision, you are ready for the marriage to be over, and you just want to get through the logistics and move on as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, divorce is never that simple. Even if you and your spouse agree on everything right at the start, you’ll still have to wait a minimum of 60 to 90 days after filing the complaint before the divorce can be finalized. However, it is rare that spouses agree on everything right at the start, especially when children are involved, so most divorce cases take much longer to process.
That’s why it’s so important to hire an experienced Franklin divorce attorney to file your divorce. I have been helping clients through divorce for over 22 years now. My goal is not only to help you get a divorce as quickly as possible, but also to get the best resolution you can so you can start your new life on the right footing. I do that by helping you understand all your legal options and then putting together the most effective strategy and the strongest case. Wherever possible, I help my clients end their divorce with a settlement rather than through a costly and time-intensive trial.
What is the divorce process like in TN?
The divorce process is relatively simple in TN if the two parties are able to agree on the division of assets and debts, child custody, child support, and other issues. Typically, the process looks like this:
- Filing the complaint. This is the first step in filing for divorce in TN. The person who files the complaint is called the plaintiff.
- The complaint and a summons is served. The other spouse must be notified that the divorce action has been filed and that the other spouse (called the defendant) has 30 days to file an answer. The notification is done by serving the defendant, that is, formally giving the summons and complaint to the defendant, by a sheriff, a process server, or by certified mail. Occasionally, the defendant will sign to waive service.
- Answer and counter-complaint. The other spouse then usually responds to the complaint by filing an answer and counter-complaint. This may involve asking for a different child custody arrangement or some alternate relief.
- Temporary injunctions. Temporary injunctions go into place for the plaintiff when the complaint is filed, and for the defendant when the complaint is served, which puts a halt to the sale of property, the transfer of assets, and other specific activities that would disturb the status quo.
- After service of pleadings, the divorce enters the discovery phase, which involves both attorneys collecting evidence and building a case for their side. Usually written discovery is done in order to prepare for mediation. If the case does not settle in mediation, then other discovery is usually done to prepare for trial.
- Settlement, mediation, or trial. Hopefully, the parties can negotiate the terms of their divorce, either between themselves and their attorneys, or through mediation. The courts and attorneys push couples to come to an agreement on their own issues through negotiation and mediation. State law requires mediation. That would be the final phase of the divorce process before getting a judgment and signing the papers. If settlement is not possible, there will be a trial of these issues, and a judge will make a ruling.
Divorce can be a very lengthy and expensive process if the parties cannot find a way to agree on their issues. I try to help my clients get a divorce as quickly and cheaply as possible by helping them understand the likely ultimate outcome, and trying to work in an efficient manner toward the best outcome for my client. I serve as an advocate for their interests, trying to help them get the resolution they want consistent with the law.
Child custody and support in TN
Like many other states, Tennessee law seeks to determine who should be the primary residential parent of the children based on the best interests of the children. And like many other states, Tennessee law considers it to be in the best interest of the children to have a relationship with both parents, unless there is a compelling reason otherwise, such as abuse. Therefore, the courts will usually award the alternate parent reasonable parenting time with the children considering all the circumstances.
I always hope that my clients want to create a child custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children, and I work to get the appropriate child support consistent with the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines to maintain the children’s quality of life post-divorce.
Work with a compassionate TN divorce lawyer to make the process a bit easier
Divorce is hard. It is emotionally charged, it’s expensive, and it requires you to start your life over – something you likely thought you’d never have to do. I understand how hard this process can be. Certain things are required in order to get through this process. I do what I can to help clients understand the process, and thereby hopefully making the process a little easier, while also helping to protect client’s rights. I provide my clients guidance while fighting to protect their interests and shepherding them through the process as quickly as possible. Call my office today at (615) 791-8511 to schedule a free consultation, or use the secure online form on my website.
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