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What are the steps in the divorce process?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2022 | Divorce

Tennessee residents going through a divorce should know what to expect. If it’s your first marriage, you might want a clear timeline of the process.

The divorce petition is filed

One spouse files the divorce petition. To file, at least one spouse must meet the state’s residency requirements. The grounds for divorce must be stated in the petition.

Temporary orders are requested

You can request temporary orders from the court such as spousal support, child support and child custody. If there is a history of abuse in the marriage, the court might also issue a temporary protection order.

Proof of service is filed

After the petition for divorce and temporary court orders are filed, the other spouse receives a copy of them. They also receive proof of service, which lets the court know that the spouse who filed has met the requirements. Proof of service is necessary before a divorce case can proceed.

The other spouse must then file a response to the divorce petition. There’s a set period of time for them to do so.

A settlement is negotiated

A settlement must be negotiated between the spouses. Usually, if the couple chooses divorce mediation, they can work together to settle things. If the divorce is contentious and occurs in court, things might be more drawn out before a settlement is reached.

Go to trial if necessary

If a settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, the divorce goes to trial. Evidence is presented and witnesses might be called to testify. Traditional court divorce can be long and emotional. Collaborative divorce or mediation are good alternatives that are cheaper and take a shorter time.

A judgment is reached

The divorce is final when a judgment is reached and the judge signs the document.