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Is an 'agreed divorce' right for you? -- III

Over the last month, our blog has been examining the agreed divorce process here in Tennessee, which allows spouses who concur on all points and who otherwise satisfy certain requirements (i.e., no kids under 18, no jointly-owned real estate, no retirement accounts) to secure an expedited split.

Indeed, in our last post on this topic, we examined the process behind securing an agreed divorce from the initial filing of the paperwork with the court clerk to the 60-day waiting period that must be observed before the Final Divorce Hearing can be scheduled. In today's post, we'll conclude this examination, taking a closer look at this hearing and the need, if any, to seek legal guidance.

What happens at the Final Divorce Hearing?

While a complete description of what transpires at the Final Divorce Hearing is clearly beyond the scope of a single blog post, it essentially entails either one or both spouses answering various questions from the judge about their marriage, separation or other important items.

To that end, the judge will review the Divorce Agreement to ensure that it is fair, particularly as far as property division is concerned. In fact, if the judge finds the agreed upon division inequitable, such that one spouse might be lacking enough to live on, changes may be ordered.

Is the matter over once the judge approves the divorce?

While it may seem as if the matter is officially over once the Final Divorce Order is issued, each spouse does have 30 days to appeal. What this means is that both spouses should wait until this deadline passes before doing things like remarrying or purchasing property.

Does a person need to consult with an attorney for agreed divorce?

The reality is that while a couple does not have to consult with an attorney for an agreed divorce, it may prove to be beneficial in the long run.

As demonstrated by the foregoing discussion, there are many formalities that must be observed during the agreed divorce process from the forms to the deadlines, and any failure to abide by them can serve to derail the entire process. As such, a couple could always consider having an attorney handle all of these details, which would essentially free them to focus their attention on moving forward.

Similarly, one party to an agreed divorce could always consider retaining the services of an attorney on their own, asking him or her to review the Divorce Agreement as a means of ensuring it's equitable and, if not, taking the necessary action.

Here's hoping our discussion on agreed divorce has proven informative. As always, if you have questions about the process or would like to learn more about a divorce-related matter, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

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Mr. McKellar was voted by his peers as a “Top Attorney” by Knoxville’s CityView magazine in its 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 editions. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Mr. McKellar was selected as a member of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the National Trial Lawyers.

Ms. Easter was voted by her peers as a “Top Attorney” in Cityview Magazine for Family Law / Divorce / Child Support in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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