While there is a tendency to envision the majority of divorcing couples as having been together for years, raised a family and accumulated sizeable assets, this is really only part of the big picture. Indeed, the reality is that divorcing couples come from all walks of life, with just as many having been married for only a relatively short amount of time, having no children and little assets to divide.
By way of example, consider a millennial couple who got married right out of college in their mid 20s and, after having been married for only a few years, have since decided that their hearts are no longer in it, but would still like to part on amiable terms. In recognition of situations like these, Tennessee law provides for something known as “agreed divorce.”
What is agreed divorce?
In an agreed divorce, both spouses are on board with the dissolution of marriage and able to come to mutually acceptable agreements concerning divorce. They secure the divorce by filling out and filing a series of forms, and attending a court hearing.
It’s important to understand, however, that in order to pursue an agreed divorce, the couple must satisfy certain criteria.
What are these requirements that must be satisfied in order to secure an agreed divorce?
In order to secure an agreed divorce, the couple must meet the following conditions:
- Either one or both of spouses must have lived in Tennessee for at least the previous six months, or lived here when the decision to divorce was made.
- Both spouses want to divorce.
- The spouses have no children together who are under 18 years of age, still in high school or disabled. (This includes both children born before and after the marriage).
- The wife is not currently pregnant.
- The spouses don’t own a business, land, or buildings together.
- The spouses don’t have an IRS qualified retirement plan or pension.
- The spouses have reached an agreement on both property division and alimony, and each signed a document known as the Divorce Agreement.
We’ll continue this discussion in our next post, exploring more about the agreed divorce process and, more significantly, why it might not prove to be the best option for some couples.
If you would like to learn more about the divorce process here in Tennessee, including alternative dispute resolution options like collaborative divorce, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.