The uncontested divorce

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When a couple realizes that they are headed toward divorce, both people may agree they need a divorce, but the agreement to get a divorce alone does not necessarily mean the divorce is uncontested or they won’t need the advice of an attorney. 

Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-4-103 provides the procedures for a divorce upon the grounds of irreconcilable differences, or the uncontested divorce in Tennessee. The law also requires a mandatory waiting period for a divorce. If the parties have no unmarried children under the age of eighteen (18) the waiting period is sixty (60) days from the date the Complaint for Divorce is filed. With minor children, the divorce must be on file for ninety (90) days before being heard. 

In order for the Court to grant a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, the parties must submit to the Court a signed and notarized marital dissolution agreement and a signed and notarized permanent parenting plan if there are minor children. The marital dissolution agreement (or “MDA”) must provide for the equitable division of all of the property, assets, and debts of the marriage and the permanent parenting plan must provide for the care, custody, and support of the minor children. However, without an agreement on all of these terms, there can be no irreconcilable differences divorce. 


Although many people will be able to work out the details of their agreement up front, most people seeking a divorce will benefit from the counsel of an attorney to be sure their agreement complies with the law and other requirements of the particular court. Moreover, an attorney may also be needed if either of the parties have retirement assets. Don’t be alarmed if an attorney tells you they can only represent one spouse. 

Uncontested divorce in tennessee

Many divorcing couples may also benefit from the services of a mediator to help them work out an agreement. Mediation can be helpful whether the parties are represented or not. In addition, a trained mediator can help the parties see past their differences to work out a solution and an agreement that both parties can follow in the future. 


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