An overview of a potential divorce timeline

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | blog, Family Law |

In Tennessee, you can typically end your marriage for almost any reason. However, it may take several months or years to complete the divorce process. The exact timeline will depend on several factors, such as how long it takes to serve divorce papers or if the divorce is contentious or amicable.

Residency requirements

Tennessee law stipulates that you must live in the state for at least six months before filing for divorce. This requirement may be waived if the grounds for your divorce are related to something that happened in the state. For instance, if your spouse cheated on you in a Tennessee hotel, it may be possible to file for divorce immediately.

Serving divorce papers

Typically, a judge will not grant a divorce unless your spouse knows that proceedings are taking place and has a chance to respond to your petition. Therefore, if your spouse can’t be easily located, it may be several weeks or months before any action is taken in your case. However, if your spouse can be found, it may be possible to start settlement talks immediately or quickly ask for a divorce trial date.

Mediation versus litigation

Generally speaking, divorces resolved through mediation can be wrapped up faster than those resolved through litigation. This is because a trial may not start for several months after an initial hearing is held. The trial itself may last several weeks or months, depending on the case’s complexity and other factors that may or may not be under your control. Conversely, when working with a mediator, you control the divorce resolution timeline and can come to a resolution at any time inside or outside of a mediator’s office.

Preparing for a divorce before serving a petition may help to expedite the process of ending your marriage. Having tax records, bank statements or other documents available may make it easier to make property division or other requests your spouse is more likely to agree to.

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Costner & Greene Attorneys at Law

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Maryville, TN 37804




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