No doubt getting a divorce under any circumstances is stressful. Even when a marriage ends without a challenge from either party, there are many steps to finalizing a divorce. When the divorce is contested, the process is far from easy, and the stress level can be through the roof. We offer some guidance for the process of filing for a contested divorce in Tennessee below, but if you want to speak to a divorce attorney directly, contact us today.

What is a Contested Divorce?

Let’s begin by defining a contested divorce. In Tennessee a divorce can be settled when a couple agrees their marriage cannot be saved due to “irreconcilable differences”. In these cases, it is considered an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce still takes a few months to finalize, but it is a simpler process than others. Conversely, a Tennessee “contested divorce” is when the parties cannot agree and end up in court to iron out their differences. This can take many months.

How to File for a Contested Divorce?

In Tennessee, a divorce can be difficult to get without agreement between spouses or proof of very specific circumstances. To navigate the proof of circumstance, paperwork, and court system, it’s best to hire an experienced divorce lawyer right away.

Before you file for a contested divorce, you must have proof of one following condition:

  • Abandonment;
  • Adultery;
  • Attempted murder;
  • Bigamy;
  • Conviction of a crime (either a felony or one resulting in infamy);
  • Habitual drunkenness or abuse of any narcotic;
  • Impotence and sterility;
  • Impregnation of a wife by a man not her husband at time of marriage without husband’s knowledge;
  • Inappropriate marital conduct (treatment or conduct considered cruel and inhuman);
  • Repeated indignities to a spouse’s person;
  • Spousal refusal to move to Tennessee resulting in living apart for at least 2 years; and
  • Willful or malicious desertion for a year without a reasonable cause.

The proof to obtain a contested divorce often requires eyewitnesses, digital trails, video or audio recordings or financial records. Once that is in hand, your attorney will start to advance your case through the system.

Overview of the Divorce Process in Tennessee

The divorce process begins with filing a Complaint with the court, and if you are the first to file, you become the plaintiff. There are no tangible advantages to filing for divorce first, other than having more control of the momentum of your proceedings. At the same time, you must also file a Certificate of Divorce.

Your Complaint for Divorce must include specific information.

  • Full names and Social Security numbers of you and your spouse
  • Current mailing addresses of you and your spouse
  • Your birthdate, and those of your spouse and all minor children in your marriage

Once the correct paperwork is filed, your spouse must be served both the Complaint and a Summons to court. Then things really get started.

Is It Worth Contesting a Divorce?

If there is any way to come to a resolution through mediation, you would avoid a lot of expense, stress and wasted time. However, when there is contention over custody of minor children, contesting a divorce may become necessary.

Hiring an experienced divorce attorney, like those from McKeehan Law Group, may be an expense but having the right lawyer to fight for you can make all the difference. Without competent legal representation, the outcome will likely be unsatisfactory. Prepare as if your spouse will hire a lawyer because that is likely.  Even if they do not, having legal representation gives you an advantage.

Contact one of the Knoxville divorce lawyers at McKeehan Law Group today for a consultation. Don’t wait because timing is everything when it comes to divorce proceedings. Waiting too long makes achieving your desired outcome more difficult and costly. You can call them today at (865)294-8008.