What is an uncontested divorce in Tennessee, and how can I get one?
Divorces in Tennessee involve the resolution of three issues:
- Grounds for divorce;
- Division of marital debts and assets; and
A divorce with children must also resolve two more issues:
- Child custody (primary residential parent status, parental decisionmaking authority, and residential schedule); and
- Child support.
All of these issues can be resolved by a settlement agreement signed by the parties or through a trial in front of a judge or chancellor. When the parties resolve all of the above-listed issues and enter into signed agreements recording that resolution, this is called an uncontested divorce. Typically, only one party needs to attend the final hearing on an uncontested divorce. Sometimes, if the parties have no children, neither party will need to appear in court to give testimony.
In certain circumstances, such as when the parties have reached an agreement prior to filing for divorce, our office may be able to handle the entire uncontested divorce process from start to finish for a flat fee rather than an hourly retainer. The amount of the flat fee varies based on the complexity of the case. Divorces with real estate, substantial assets, and children tend to be more complex. In almost all cases, an uncontested divorce is substantially less expensive than a contested divorce.
Uncontested divorce has its advantages and disadvantages, and you should explore and understand these advantages and disadvantages before making any decisions. If you're wondering whether this could be the appropriate path for your divorce, please make an appointment to discuss your situation and your options.