Considering a Divorce or Separation?

One of the most common questions we hear is "How long will my divorce take?"

Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-101(b) lays out a mandatory waiting period for every divorce, including uncontested, mutually agreed upon divorces. 

If you do not have minor children from your marriage, the mandatory "cooling off" period is 60 days from filing a complaint for divorce. If you do have minor children from your marriage, then the mandatory "cooling off" period is for 90 days from filing a complaint for divorce. 

Keep in mind that even when two parties are in complete agreement, it can take some amount of time to prepare the Final Decree, Marital Dissolution Agreement, and Parenting Plan to everyone's satisfaction. If you and your partner are not in agreement about property division, a parenting plan, or the divorce itself, the process can take much longer. Some contested divorces can last between six months to a year or longer."

Another common question involves grounds for divorce in Tennessee.

Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-101(a) lays out every possible grounds for divorce in Tennessee. There are over 15 different grounds or reasons for divorce in Tennessee. However, only two of these grounds show up in the typical divorce. 

  1. The first commonly alleged grounds for divorce is found in T.C.A. 36-4-101(a)(11), which states: "The Husband or Wife is guilty of such cruel and inhuman treatment or conduct towards the spouse as renders cohabitation unsafe and improper, which may also be referred to in pleadings as inappropriate marital conduct." When alleged, the ground of inappropriate marital conduct typically includes any allegations of adultery, emotional abuse, or any other form of behavior that is arguably grounds for a fault-based divorce. 
  2. The second commonly alleged grounds for divorce is "irreconcilable differences between the parties." T.C.A. 36-4-101(14). This is almost always alleged in divorce in Tennessee. Irreconcilable differences just means that two spouses cannot agree on fundamental issues any longer and the marriage is broken. This is, essentially, grounds for a no-fault divorce. 

In Tennessee, you can allege more than one ground for divorce. So you will often see pleadings that allege both inappropriate marital conduct and irreconcilable differences. Thus, in the event that you cannot prove one grounds, you can always fall back on irreconcilable differences. 

For any additional questions about the divorce process, call our law firm today and let one of our experienced, dedicated attorneys help you through the process.