Divorce, whether contested or uncontested, can be a difficult and traumatic experience for many people. Divorce can be a long process and the divorcing couple may experience a difficult time that they feel no one else can understand. A contested divorce can be long, messy, and painful. An uncontested divorce, where the couple can agree on the terms of their dissolution, is less traumatic and allows the couple to part ways on amicable terms. It can also take less time and be much less expensive.
In an uncontested divorce, the parties are able to agree upon the dissolution of their marriage, including all of the terms of the division of their property, assets, and debts, and the care and custody of their children, if they have children. In Tennessee, an uncontested divorce can be granted upon the grounds of irreconcilable differences, Tennessee’s version of the “no-fault” divorce, and neither party will have to prove to the court their grounds for divorce.
If the parties have children, they must submit a Permanent Parenting Plan agreeing to all of the issues of care, custody, and support of their children. The Permanent Parenting Plan must be in the best interests of the children and will explain the duties and responsibilities of each parent with respect to the children as well as determine parenting time, child support, medical care and insurance, and how major decisions are to be made for the children. Once the parties have agreed and created their Permanent Parenting Plan, the divorce court will determine whether the plan is in the children’s best interests and must approve the plan and incorporate it as a court order.
In an uncontested divorce the parties must also enter into and sign a Marital Dissolution Agreement. This document is a contract between the parties which resolves all issues involving the parties’ property (both real and personal property), assets, debts, medical insurance coverage, and spousal support, if any.
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested there is a certain series of legal steps and requirements which must be completed to obtain a divorce. An experienced lawyer is your greatest tool in the divorce process and can guide you and assist you at each step along the way. Even if your divorce is uncontested and you and your spouse have an amicable agreement, the attorney will help to insure that everything is done right according to the law and help you to prevent any unnecessary delay caused by mistakes or oversight in your documents.