Whether your marriage has been barely hanging on for months (or longer) or a cataclysmic event brought it to an abrupt end, navigating the process of divorce can be quite daunting. Perhaps you and your spouse are on good enough speaking terms that you both agree you want to sever your ties as swiftly and painlessly as possible. That’s all well and good except for the fact that Tennessee law requires an extended waiting period before you can finalize a no fault divorce if you do not have an agreement with your spouse.

Divorce laws vary by state, and in this state, the requirements may be different depending on whether you have minor children and whether you agree on all issues. For instance, if you don’t have minor children, and can’t agree on the terms of your divorce, then in order to do a no fault divorce you will have to live separately for two full and consecutive years before you can get divorced. In contrast, if you have no minor children and reach an agreement on all issues, the waiting period is only 60 days for a no fault divorce. 

Other pertinent provisions regarding filing for divorce in Tennessee

In addition to how long a separation period you must endure, the following list includes other divorce requirements you must satisfy according to your individual circumstances:

  • Generally, at least one spouse must reside for at least six months in the state before filing for divorce.
  • If your spouse deserted you for one year or longer, it is grounds for divorce in Tennessee.
  • Exhibition of cruelty, as well as emotional or physical abuse is also grounds for divorce in this state.

State laws regarding divorce tend to change periodically; therefore, it’s best to seek clarification of current laws before filing for divorce in order to avoid confusion or serious delays in court. No matter what has prompted you to seek a divorce, whatever your reason, you must identify it on the form for approved grounds for divorce provided by the state.

Getting through the divorce process

You don’t have to endure a courtroom battle to obtain a divorce. Instead, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be open to alternate dispute resolution options, such as divorce mediation. This is often a means for avoiding litigation and tends to work well in benign situations where both parties are able to communicate amicably. Each spouse usually retains legal representation before entering negotiations.

No one can give you a magical answer as to how to avoid all obstacles and move forward to a stress-free life following your divorce. The reality is that most people who divorce face some type of problems during or long after proceedings. This is one of many reasons it’s a good idea to stay connected to an experienced family law attorney should you need legal guidance.