Getting a divorce in Nashville

Irreconcilable differences is Tennessee’s version of no-fault proceedings

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Please see “Divorce in Tennessee,” for general comments about domestic violence and the need to at least consider counseling when going through the painful process of divorce.

Many experts and legal authorities agree that even those in an uncontested divorce should retain an attorney–at least for the Petitioner–in order to ensure that the final agreement is legal and the decree enforceable. Also, please notice the clerk’s office is quite limited in the amount of information it can provide to pro se litigants (those who file without an attorney); from the Guidelines for Tennessee Court Clerks Who Assist Self-Represented Persons (emphasis added): “The primary goal of court and clerks’ staff is to provide high quality service to court users. Court clerks strive to provide accurate information and assistance in a prompt and courteous manner. However, in many or most situations involving pro se litigants (or represented litigants who come to the clerk’s office without their attorneys), the best customer service might be to advise the litigant to seek the assistance of an attorney.”

Where to file, even though forms not available

Also, some items from the Circuit Court Clerk’s FAQ page:

Q1: How and Where can I file Circuit Court documents?
A1: Circuit documents can be filed in person at the Clerk’s office or they can be mailed. Certain documents can also be fax filed. More information regarding fax filing can be located at the forms link under Fax Filing – Rules.

Q2: Are there forms available for me to file my own Divorce or Civil Complaint?
A2:No, the majority of Circuit forms are used for statistical or service of process related matters. Most other types of pleadings must be drawn up by the petitioner.

Uncontested actions require no default motion

Tennessee’s version of no-fault divorce is the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Here’s what the Circuit Court has to say:

Uncontested Divorce Cases

  1. When a divorce case is based on the ground of irreconcilable differences, it is not necessary to move for a default judgment. Once the statutory requirements have been met, such cases may be set for trial by consultation with the Calendar Clerk of the assigned court or they may be submitted on interrogatories by leave of the court.
  2. When a party in default desires to be heard on any matter other than the basic cause of action, he or she shall notify the court at least seven days prior to the hearing of the matters upon which he or she desires to be heard and shall file a brief statement setting forth the nature of the matter.
  3. If a marital dissolution agreement in a divorce action based on irreconcilable differences is delivered through personal service as allowed by T.C.A. § 36-4-103, the statutory requirements regarding service will be strictly construed.

Contested divorce: better get an attorney

Perhaps too obvious to mention, but a contested divorce–usually involving children, significant assets, or both–almost always necessitates retaining attorneys for both parties. Low-income litigants in Davidson County may benefit from programs offered by the Nashville Bar Association, who published this programs’ services catalog.

Free evaluation

We can help, too. If you’re ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.

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