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Articles Tagged with Divorce

Cole Law Group BlogThe 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.

Alimony – A Primary Issue in Divorce

Alimony ButtonFor better or worse, nearly half of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Although the exact statistics on divorce fluctuate slightly from year to year and state to state, the residents of Tennessee are no strangers to breaking the bonds of matrimony. Throughout Tennessee, it is widely accepted and understood that issues pertaining to child custody and property division must be decided as part of any divorce. However, another extremely important issue in divorce – the issue of alimony (sometimes referred to as “spousal maintenance” or “spousal support”) – is often less certain or overlooked by parties to a divorce until it is too late, particularly if either or both of the parties have never gone through divorce before or if the divorce is unexpected.

In a broad legal sense, there are five (5) primary issues pertaining to any divorce: (1) grounds for divorce; (2) child custody; (3) child support; (4) equitable distribution of marital property; and (5) alimony. While none of these issues can be considered in isolation, the issue of alimony often predominates throughout divorce. The issue of alimony is the last major issue decided by the trial judge in a Tennessee divorce. Even if the facts of a case strongly indicate that the Court is likely to award one party alimony at the conclusion of the proceeding, vigorous litigation can ensue regarding what form the alimony should take, as well as its amount, duration, and other conditions.

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