In a previous post, we discussed how the law here in Tennessee provides for a simplified dissolution of marriage process known as “agreed divorce” in recognition of the fact that not all divorcing couples have been together for years, raised a family and/or accumulated sizeable assets.
To recap, the process enables those spouses who agree that it’s time to part ways and satisfy other requirements to secure a divorce by completing and filing a series of forms, and attending a court hearing. In today’s post, we’ll explore more about this process.
What forms must be prepared in an agreed divorce?
The couple will be required to sign and notarize a multitude of forms in the agreed divorce process from the Request for Divorce and Spouses’ Personal Information to the Health Insurance Notice and the Divorce Agreement, to name only a few.
The Divorce Agreement is of particular importance, as it sets forth the agreement reached between the two spouses concerning both alimony and property division (i.e., their assets and debts).
Where are these prepared divorce forms filed?
The completed divorce forms, as well as two copies, may be filed with the court clerk 1) in the county where the divorcing couple currently lives, 2) in the county where the soon-to-be former spouse currently lives, or 3) in the county where the divorcing couple lived when they separated.
Divorcing couples should be aware ahead of time that there are filing fees for these divorce forms — levied by both the state and the county — such that they might need to discuss how to split this expense beforehand.
If the filing fees are too much, a request for a postponement may be filed, such that payment wouldn’t be due until the end of the case with the judge ultimately deciding who should pay.
Finally, the divorcing couple will also be assigned a case number by the court clerk that must be appended to all of the forms, and will need to ask for a form called a “Divorce Certificate” along with the necessary instructions.
What happens after the forms are filed?
Once all of the necessary paperwork has been filed with the clerk, the couple must wait a minimum of 60 days before they can schedule what is known as the Final Divorce Hearing. However, they must be careful not to let more than 180 days pass since the last person signed the Divorce Agreement, as this will serve to nullify the document and necessitate the creation of a new one.
We’ll conclude this discussion in a future post, exploring what happens at the Final Divorce Hearing and, more significantly, why it might be prudent to consult with an attorney.
Consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible if you would like to learn more about the divorce process here in Tennessee, including agreed divorce, contested divorce or alternatives to divorce.