Divorce Lawyers in Knoxville, Tennessee
Guiding TN Families Through No-Fault & At-Fault Divorce
It is no secret that divorce is a challenging process to endure, especially when children are involved. Every key issue, such as child custody, child support, and property division, can easily become a point of severe contention and anger. To field your way through this emotionally taxing process, it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through each step. At Peterson White in Knoxville, our experienced family law team is committed to providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal representation for every client we serve.
Is Tennessee an At-Fault or No-Fault Divorce State?
Tennessee has both at-fault and no-fault divorce.
- In a no-fault divorce, the filing spouse only needs to state “irreconcilable differences.”
- An at-fault divorce is filed when one spouse alleges that the other’s bad conduct led to the downfall of their marriage.
These types of divorces can have a significant impact on the case, which is why it’s important to become familiar with it. Our lawyers at Peterson White, LLP are here to guide you through your separation with ease.
Contested vs Uncontested Divorce in TN
There are two main types of divorce – contested and uncontested. When a divorce is uncontested, it essentially means both parties are on the same page regarding every factor involved in their divorce. It also means that both spouses agree to get a divorce.
Below are the issues you must agree on to have an uncontested divorce:
If you and your spouse agree on all of these issues, you can proceed with an uncontested divorce, which generally takes less time and incur fewer legal fees. Generally, uncontested divorce is more common among those with less complex cases.
When a divorce is contested, it may mean one spouse does not wish to get a divorce or that the spouses agree to get a divorce, but disagree on one or more of the aforementioned issues. In Tennessee, mediation is required. Therefore, you and your spouse must first attempt to negotiate a settlement regarding these issues and, if you are unsuccessful, you may go through divorce litigation, where a judge will render a decision for each of the remaining issues.
At Peterson White, we are experienced in handling both contested and uncontested divorce. No matter how complex your divorce is, you can rely on our team to provide the exceptional legal guidance our law firm is known for.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in TN?
A divorce that is of mutual consent and is "no-fault" may take as little as 2-6 months. However, there is a mandatory cooling off period that lasts approximately 60 days upon filing. If the divorce is contested, then the case may last years depending on the issues at hand. No divorce is completely alike, so multiple factors may extend
How is Property Divided in Tennessee After Divorce?
Tennessee is an equitable distribution state, which means any marital property after a divorce is divided by a judge that determines what is considered fair. This does not mean a 50/50 split, rather it takes into consideration the circumstances around both parties and disperses assets, or debts, based on what is equitable for each. Here are a few factors that a judge may consider when dividing property:
- The estate of each party at the time of the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The age, physical and mental health, vocational skills, earning capacity, estate, financial liabilities and financial needs of each of the parties
How is Marital Property Defined in Tennessee?
According to the Tennessee state legislature, generally speaking, any property that either you or your spouse acquired during the course of your marriage is considered to be marital property.
The term marital property also applies to any property that either of you gained at any point during the marriage. This includes anything up to the final date of the divorce hearing, which means that if you are in the midst of divorce proceedings and have not yet had your final hearing, any new property either of you acquires before that hearing is still subject to the state’s laws of property division.
A signed Marital Dissolution Agreement could be used to divide up property, too. This is basically a contract prior to your final divorce hearing.
There are, of course, exceptions and not all property either spouse gains rights to during the marriage will be considered marital. For instance, if a spouse inherits money and keeps it in a separate account in only his or her name, that inheritance money will most likely be considered separate property as it has not been transmuted to marital property.
Marital property during Legal Separation is an entirely different legal proceeding where property division is concerned. Speak with an attorney to discuss your specific situation and questions about marital property and how Tennessee laws may apply to your situation.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Divorce Law Firm in Knoxville Today!
If you and your spouse can no longer make your marriage work, the team at Peterson White in Knoxville has the experience and knowledge necessary to skillfully guide you through it. No one ever gets married with the expectation that they will one day get divorced, but it happens, unfortunately. With us on your side, you can feel confident that you will receive the best possible results for your case. Our team will help you get through it as smoothly as possible, so you can move forward with the next chapter in your life and pursue a better, happier future.
Take the first step toward dissolving your marriage and reach out to our law office today at (855) 919-4124 to arrange a consultation with a trusted member of our family law team.