What parents need to know about uncontested divorce in Tennessee

You want the best for your children. You want to spend your emotional and financial resources on them. You don't want to pay for a long and drawn-out divorce. You don't want the judge to be the one to decide how you and your spouse co-parent.

As of January 1, 2017, you have a new option. The Tennessee Supreme Court adopted forms that allow you to file for an uncontested divorce.

Who can use these forms?

To fill out the forms, you must already have come to an agreement about the details of your divorce, including parenting time and child support.

Additionally, to qualify for this simpler process you cannot have any retirement accounts, and cannot own a house, land, or buildings.

What does the process look like?

There are a few steps in this process:

1. First, collect all the information about your finances, assets, debts and personal information. Use this information to fill out your standard divorce form, which should be available through your county court. If you have questions about the form or aren't sure which form to use, a divorce lawyer can help.

2. Create a plan for financially supporting your children. You and your spouse then need to create a plan for raising and supporting your children. This needs to be outlined in a financial document that addresses financial issues between you, including child support.

3. Develop a plan for raising your children. You'll also have to detail your agreement regarding custody and visitation in a separate document, also known as a permanent parenting plan.

4. Attend a state-mandated parenting class. Tennessee law requires all divorcing parents to attend a parenting class, even if your split is uncontested. Your lawyer or the court can give you the information regarding enrolling in one of these classes. You will get a completion certificate which needs to be filed with your parenting plan.

5. Finally, collect all of your documents and file them with the court. When you get divorced in Tennessee you need to fill out standard state-specific divorce forms, including a request for a divorce, forms requiring your personal information and a divorce agreement.

While these steps seem simple, the assistance of a local lawyer can be helpful. He or she can help you get the right forms for your county or jurisdiction, and then work with you and your soon-to-be ex to ensure they are properly filled out.

If you are going through a divorce, you know it is not easy. Uncontested divorces are not for everyone, and knowing what information to fill into the documents can be hard. If you're stuck or need experienced advice, consider contacting a divorce lawyer to navigate the process.

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