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Uncontested Divorce: How It Works in Tennessee

Not every divorce requires a lengthy and contentious journey through the courts. Some couples are in agreement about the end of their marriage and can part ways with no muss or fuss. A divorce under these circumstances is called Uncontested Divorce or Agreed Divorce

How to File for Uncontested Divorce in Tennessee

If you and your spouse can agree to split amicably, there are a lot of advantages. In Tennessee, you must meet specific requirements to qualify for an Uncontested Divorce. The first step is to present a reason for the dissolution of your marriage. Tennessee requires the statement of a reason or grounds for each divorce petition filed. The following are examples of these legal grounds: 

  • Adultery
  • Inappropriate Marital Conduct
  • Abandonment
  • Habitual Drunkenness or Abuse of Narcotic Drugs
  • Irreconcilable Differences

From the choices on this list, an Uncontested Divorce must fall under “Irreconcilable Differences”. This means neither party is placing direct blame for the divorce on the other, at least not officially. In order to obtain this type of divorce both parties must be in total agreement on the inability to remain married to one another, division of property & debts, and any parenting arrangements, if you have children. Even the smallest disagreement will disqualify you from a divorce under this term, which is why it can also be called an agreed divorce. If there are any sticking points, couples can engage Mediation services to reach their final agreement before filing to be sure they qualify.

Advantages of Filing for an Uncontested Divorce

There are many advantages to filing for an Uncontested Divorce, if you can make it work, including faster conclusion, less money spent and a reduction in stress.

How fast is faster? That’s relative. A contested divorce can stretch out in the courts for months or even years. Compared to that timeline, the required 60-90 days by the state of Tennessee for an Uncontested Divorce is pretty quick. Many call this waiting period a “cooling off period”.  On day 61, a divorce without the involvement of minor children is final. With the involvement of minor children, the divorce happens on day 91.

How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost? The expenses involved in filing an Uncontested Divorce include attorney and filing fees. You may believe filing for this kind of divorce simple enough to forgo hiring an attorney, but there are levels of paperwork that need to be just right. Not having an attorney look over them before filing can save them from being rejected by the court. Plus, most attorneys charge a flat fee to handle an Uncontested Divorce that is much less than other divorce representation.

Each Tennessee county court charges a different filing fee, which generally falls into the $200-$400 range. In Knox County Chancery Court, the minimum filing fee for an Agreed (Uncontested) Divorce is $216.50.

Less stress? Although there likely is no such thing as a completely stress-free divorce, coming to an agreement between spouses before filing can reduce the amount and length of stress felt during the process. Staying out of court is always going to be less stressful than going to court over disagreements.

How Can the Divorce Attorneys at MLG Help?

The divorce lawyers of McKeehan Law Group have decades of experience guiding couples through divorce proceedings, both contested and uncontested. Schedule your free consultation today!

 


Tennessee Statute of Limitations: Personal Injury Lawsuit

Although injuries from a car wreck or fall happen in flash, it can take the injured some time to consult with an attorney about a lawsuit. In Tennessee it is of utmost importance to move quickly in this direction. Why is filing a lawsuit soon after injury occurs important? It is important because Tennessee state law places a statute of limitations on filing personal injury lawsuits and collecting on judgments: TN Code § 28-3-104

The statute of limitations on filing your personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee sets the timer for one year after the injury-causing incident. As a result of this, it is important for the injured party to shake off the shock and contact a personal injury lawyer right away, like the attorneys of McKeehan Law Group.

Where Do Limitations Apply, & What Are the Exceptions?

Tennessee’s Statute of Limitations apply to car wrecks and product liability cases, though its application is not limited to these. If you fail to meet the one-year deadline for filing your lawsuit, the courts will reject your claim by declaring it untimely.

Some exceptions to the Tennessee Statute of Limitations are outlined below:

Discovery Rule

Some injuries are not apparent immediately after an accident, and in those cases you might get an extension. The rule governing these cases is the “discovery rule”. The definition of the discovery rule is an exception rule. It is based on when the injured party “knows or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence should know that an injury has been sustained”. For example, claims against a manufacturer for a defective medical device fall under this rule. In these cases, the injury from a defective product doesn't immediately happen. And you won't realize your device is defective until well after the medical procedure that implanted it. The discovery rule could allow the statute of limitations apply from the discovery date of injury, rather than the date of the incident. 

Tolling or Delayed Judgment for Victims of an Accident

The court may declare an injured party unable to represent themselves. In these cases, the injured is usually a minor or mentally impaired. A minor who sustains injury can file a lawsuit for one year after their 18th birthday. Those deemed mentally impaired by the court may delay filing a lawsuit until they are judged to no longer suffer impairment. However, this judgement can be tricky, and you should consult an attorney who can guide you through the process.

Damage to Property

This Tennessee Statute of Limitations applies only to personal injury from negligence or direct fault. And it does not apply to claims for property damage. The statute to file for compensation related to property damage is three years from the date of the incident. These claims would include specific costs associated with damage to your property. Damages include both real property damage (to home or land, for example) and personal property (i.e., vehicle damage). Learn more about this part of Tennessee law, which is separate from the personal injury rules, at Tennessee Code section 28-3-105.

Contact a Knoxville Personal Injury Attorney

The personal injury lawyers with McKeehan Law Group are available to help you navigate these difficult situations. Contact us online today or call (865) 294-8008.