Tennessee Divorce Laws and Requirements
Divorce Requirements for Tennessee Residents
Residency requirements must be met in filing for divorce in Tennessee, otherwise, the court shall have no jurisdiction to hear the case. The petitioner or plaintiff must be a legal resident of the State. However, if any of the grounds for divorce happened outside Tennessee, either of the spouses must be a resident of the Volunteer State for at least six months prior to the filing of the divorce papers.
Tennessee Grounds For Divorce
Couples who wish to legally end their marriage must file a Divorce from the Bonds of Matrimony in Tennessee. Depending on circumstances, divorcing couples can have a contested divorce which requires proof of grounds in court or an uncontested divorce which is easier, less costly, and less stressful:
- Irreconcilable differences which rendered the marriage impossible to fix
- Living separate and apart without cohabitation for no less than three years and there are no minor children.
- Willful and malicious desertion of one spouse for no less than one year, without valid reasons
- Imprisonment resulting from a felony conviction of either spouse
- Endangering the life of the spouse by making an attempt on his or her life, as proven in court
Child Custody Law in Tennessee
Tennessee divorce courts may grant either sole or joint custody to parents. The main goal is to ensure that the child’s best interests are put forward.
Parents shall be ordered by the court to follow a Permanent Parenting Plan which lays out details such as parenting schedules and other provisions in raising and caring for minor children affected by the dissolution of marriage.
The courts consider several factors in deciding on child custody, including the ones listed below:
- Each parent’s physical and mental health
- Willingness and capacity of each parent in providing food, education, medical care, and other needs of the child
- History of domestic violence or child abuse
- The character and behavior of other individuals who frequent or live in the parents’ homes where the child will also reside.
Guidelines for Tennessee Child Support
Tennessee child support guidelines are based on Income Shares Model which calculates the amount of support that each parent is to shell out for the care and upbringing of the child until he or she reaches adulthood or finishes high school. Monthly support is determined with the application of these guidelines, keeping in consideration the reasonable expenses in rearing the child and the income and earning capacity of each parent.
Where to file for a divorce?
The petitioner may file the Tennessee divorce forms in the county where either of the spouses resides.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Tennessee online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Tennessee Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce mediation in Tennessee is a process wherein the mediator, a neutral person, assists former spouses in discussing and exploring such issues as child support and other financial obligations.
Before or after filing the Tennessee divorce papers, the parties may seek for a mediator to settle their disputes between themselves, otherwise the court shall decide on such disputed items in a contested ligation. The goal of the mediator is to help the parties arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution of the issues raised by the divorcing couple.