The marriage is over but the divorce lingers on. Perhaps you are one who has now reached a high level of frustration because you still can’t get on with your life, because you and your ex-spouse are deadlocked on every issue, and because your divorce is dragging along at a snail’s pace. Actually, your consternation may be justified. The prolongation of divorce proceedings is both financially ruinous and emotionally devastating. And you shouldn’t have to endure it forever.
In Tennessee the procedure for dissolution of marriage is pretty straightforward. A no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences with no minor children involved has a minimum statutory waiting period of 60 days (90 days if minor children are involved.) This uncontested divorce process should be completed within one year and consists of four primary steps: 1) File a petition for divorce with the court, 2) Prepare a Marital Dissolution Agreement, 3) Agree on a Permanent Parenting Plan if minor children are involved, and 4) Schedule a final hearing in court. The procedure for a contested divorce, on the other hand, can take up to two years and beyond to finalize simply because of the filing of motions and counter motions, discovery (interrogatives, fact finding, and depositions), court ordered mediation, or multiple hearings and a backlog of court cases.
And even though a contested divorce by its very acrimonious nature takes longer to resolve, it is wise to be aware of certain mindsets and external influences that can turn a routine process into a never-ending nightmare. Below are some bumps in the road that can derail a successful, timely divorce resolution.