Uncontested vs. contested divorce:
In Tennessee, the grounds for divorce are statutory, two of which are fault-free. An uncontested divorce is usually on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences; the other no-fault grounds is living separate and apart without cohabitation for two years when there are no minor children. The remaining fault grounds are:
– Alcoholism or drug addiction;
– Wife is pregnant by another at the time of marriage without husband’s knowledge;
– Willful desertion for one year;
– Endangering the life of the spouse;
– Conviction of an infamous crime;
– Abandonment for two years;
– Cruel and inhuman treatment;
– Indignities that make the spouse’s life intolerable.
You don’t want of course to make mistake and realized soon but it’s too late. Therefore, if there still any amount of love left, do not decide to get divorce instead ask advice from an expert about relationship and try to work things out.
The spouse filing for divorce must prove the alleged grounds in order to be granted a divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both parties must agree on all issues, including how all marital assets and debts are to be divided (i.e., who will receive which assets and debts and in what specific amounts). All of this will be laid out in a marital dissolution agreement, a document that addresses your shared real estate, vehicles, personal property, retirement funds/pensions, stocks, investments, credit, debt, alimony, and any other terms relevant to the divorce. There are certain criteria you and your spouse must meet in order to qualify for an uncontested divorce in Tennessee. Aside from agreeing on all issues (including regarding the division of assets and debts), you must also: have lived in Tennessee for at least the past six months; have no minor children together; both want to end the marriage; not own any business or property together; and not have any retirement benefits to divide.
If you meet the above criteria, filing for an uncontested divorce is an option that may result in a quicker, cheaper, and less stressful dissolution of your marriage. Even with an uncontested divorce, it’s important to have representation, as an experienced divorce attorney can ensure that you’re getting a fair and equitable division of the marital assets and debts.
In a contested divorce, the parties can’t agree on at least one of the following: the grounds for the divorce; property division; child custody; or alimony. If the issues remain unresolved after mediation, the court will resolve them. A contested divorce is usually more contentious and entails higher court costs, higher expenses, and higher attorney fees. It’s of the utmost importance that you’re represented in a contested divorce, as you’ll need an experienced divorce attorney to negotiate on your behalf and to advocate for your interests before the court, considering what may be at stake: child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of marital assets and debts.
Child custodyIf you have minor children, you’ll complete a permanent parenting plan (PPP) as part of your divorce. A parenting plan is a detailed written outline of how divorcing parents will parent their children moving forward. Parenting plans establish a residential schedule and allocate parenting responsibilities (i.e., health insurance, educational decision making) and child support. A residential schedule outlines when the children will be in each parent’s physical care (parenting time) and designates the primary residential parent; it will also designate where the children will spend holidays, birthdays, vacations, and other special occasions. The primary residential parent is the parent with whom the children reside more than half of the time—this may be 51% of the time or it may effectively be all of the time aside from every other weekend and alternating holidays. No parenting plan is identical, and it’s crucial that you have an experienced divorce attorney on your side who can advocate for your rights as a parent.
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