The Tennessee Supreme Court has just adopted forms for those who want an uncontested divorce, but have minor children. These new forms and instructions were released in an effort by the court to simplify divorce proceedings for those who have both agreed that the marriage is over and they are looking for a simple divorce solution.
Tennessee gives folks two options when it comes to filing for divorce. If they have grounds to file, like adultery or abuse, the divorce is contested. If a couple decides together that they don’t want to be married anymore, their divorce is uncontested. Previously, if a couple had minor children, the uncontested option was not available to them, even if they came to an agreement about everything beforehand.
The Court has created these forms to make things easier on couples in this position, because not every couple with children has “wronged” each other in some way; sometimes, it’s really no one’s fault that the marriage needs to end. Married couples who meet the following criteria can use these forms according to the TN Courts:
- Both parties must agree on every aspect of the divorce, including child support
- They are the parents of their minor children
- Neither party owns any real property (land, house, etc.)
- Neither party has any retirement accounts
The new forms will be available on January 1, 2017.
The process of an uncontested divorce is, by its very nature, supposed to be simpler to complete for both parties. It takes less time, costs less money, and often alleviates some of the stress of the end of a marriage.
Just keep this in mind: even if you and your spouse agree on everything, and present the correct documentation to the court, the judge will still put the best interests of the children first – and that means he or she may not accept the agreement you and your spouse created. Just because these forms are available, doesn’t mean that they will be applicable for your case. For this reason (among others), you want to speak with an experienced Maryville divorce lawyer who can help you through the process.
I’ve been a family law attorney for a long time, and I’ve helped countless clients – with and without children – through the divorce process. Legal forms are complex, and even the smallest mistake can cost you. To learn more about what I do and how I can help, please contact my law firm, Shepherd and Associates, P.C. by filling out this contact form or by calling 865.225.9655.