In divorce, as in marriage, there is no one solution that works for every single couple. Just as some couples have religious ceremonies to get married while others just go to the justice of the peace, there are also numerous ways for a married couple to end their marriage under Tennessee state law.
When you understand the different ways to divorce, you can make a better decision about how you handle the dissolution of your marriage.
If you litigate your divorce, you and your ex will each present the Tennessee family courts with information about your circumstances and your preferences regarding property division, child custody and support matters.
The judge presiding over your divorce will then interpret state law and decide what to do about splitting up your property, dividing your parental responsibilities and addressing your other concerns, like support.
Negotiation or collaborative divorce
If you dislike the idea of having a judge make the major decisions for your family, you and your ex could agree to work together. Negotiating with one another or through your attorney can be a collaborative process. Through discussions with one another and your lawyers, the two of you can’t effectively resolve all the thing that matters that couples turn to judges to address in litigated divorces.
Sometimes, it just isn’t realistic for spouses ready to end their marriage to negotiate peacefully and cooperate in settling all of their disputes. You may need to bring in an outside professional to help the two of you reach a compromise.
Divorce mediation occurs outside of court and helps protect your privacy while giving you more control over the outcome, just like any collaborative for negotiated divorce.
The goal of mediation or collaboration is an uncontested divorce. When you file an uncontested divorce, you provide the courts with information about how you intend to share custody.
Since the spouses have already mutually agreed on matters, a Tennessee family law judge merely has to approve those terms rather than deciding on issues on behalf of the couple. Couples can file for uncontested divorces if they have a marital agreement that outlines all of the major decisions for their divorce.
Knowing the different ways to handle your divorce can help you find a solution that will protect you during this difficult time.