Divorce is a life changing and emotionally charged experience. You enter into divorce with your world shaken and no idea how you are going to come out on the other side. During this challenging time, you need a partner you can count on who will listen to your concerns and provide creative, strategic solutions for achieving your goals and objectives. No matter how emotionally charged your issues may be, a Cole Law Group Nashville divorce lawyer can help you get a firm grasp on your situation and empower you to move on to the next chapter of your life.
Every divorce case is unique and carries with it specific legal concerns. At Cole Law Group we adopt a different approach for each case we accept. We are dedicated to providing solutions that are not just innovative, but tailor made to reflect the specific needs of the men, women, and children we represent. Our attorneys have a successful track record with complex and highly contentious divorce cases.
Beginning with an initial consultation, you will receive an honest assessment of your situation and straight forward talk that will help you set realistic goals. You will be kept informed regarding the progress of your divorce with timely and consistent communication and given the freedom to make important decisions regarding your case. We will guide and assist you in gathering documentation and evidence for discovery and spend adequate time preparing you for settlement, deposition, and/or trial.Be an Informed Client
The key to navigating a divorce successfully is to be an informed client and a prepared client. In order to enhance your confidence and help you make logical rather than emotional decisions as you partner with us, our divorce lawyers in Nashville encourage you to increase your knowledge of the basics of divorce law, divorce terminology, and the legal procedures required to obtain a divorce in Tennessee.Grounds for Obtaining a TN Divorce
Many divorces are granted simply because of irreconcilible differences. However, the complete list of TN grounds for divorce from the bonds of matrimony can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
Before filing for divorce in TN, one must meet the residency requirement. Many people believe that they must file for divorce in the state where they were married, and that is simply not true. If you are the plaintiff and you were a bona fide resident of TN at the time the grounds for divorce occurred, you can file in TN. If you were living in another state when the grounds occurred, you will have to establish residency in TN for 6 months prior to filing. Any military personnel or the spouse of any military personnel who has been living in TN for no less than one year is considered a resident for the purpose of obtaining a TN divorce.The Tennessee Divorce Process Complaint for Divorce
The divorce process in Tennessee begins with one party filing a Complaint of Divorce (sometimes called a Petition for Divorce). There are some advantages to being the first to file and these advantages should be considered in planning a divorce strategy:
- It may be more advantageous to be the "aggressor" who has a strategy in place rather than the respondent who finds himself or herself in a reactionary role.
- The party that files first controls when mandatory injunctive relief will be imposed.
- The party that files first has the right to dismiss the case at any time before a counter complaint has been filed.
- The party that files first will "go first" in presenting arguments and evidence if the case should go to trial.
Once the complaint is filed, a summons will be issued to the non filing spouse. Tennessee has mandatory waiting periods after a complaint is filed before a divorce can be granted depending on whether minor children are involved. If there are no minor children between the parties, they must wait only sixty (60) days from filing the complaint until the divorce can be granted. If there are minor children between the parties, they must wait ninety (90) days from filing the complaint until the divorce can be granted.Temporary Motions
Once a complaint of divorce has been filed, temporary motions can be filed, including, but not limited to, motion for spousal support, child support, custody of minor children, and motions regarding which party can live in the marital residence during the pendency of the divorce.Counter Complaint
After the complaint is filed, the non filing spouse can answer the complaint and file a counter complaint if they wish. They have thirty (30) days from service to answer and/or counter claim.
If the non filing spouse does not answer, there may be a default judgment against them, meaning the court assumes they agree with the terms stated in the complaint of divorce.Amicable Divorce
After an answer and/or counter complaint is filed, the next steps depend on whether or not the parties can agree on a distribution of assets and child care and custody.
If the parties can agree, they can exchange information (often called discovery) between each other without involving the court and agree to a distribution of the assets and a parenting plan.Resolving a Divorce Through Mediation
If the parties cannot agree, they can either go to mediation or go through a formal discovery process involving the court, often after a divorce is set for trial. Mediation entails both parties meeting, separately or together, with a Rule 31 Mediator to go over all marital assets in order to determine who will obtain such assets. If minor children are involved, the parties must also agree during mediation to the care and custody of such children. This is called a Parenting Plan. If the parties agree to the distribution of assets, and care and custody at mediation, the case moves to a final hearing.Taking Your Divorce to Trial
If the parties cannot agree during mediation, the case will be set for trial. If the divorce is set for trial, formal discovery exchanges will ensue and depositions will be held. At trial, the judge will rule who is granted a divorce, who obtains certain marital assets, and will resolve any outstanding parenting issues, such as who is the primary residential parent, who is entitled to child support, and what amount of child support is appropriate. The judge can rule immediately at the close of the trial or take additional time to make a ruling. After the judge makes a ruling, either party has thirty (30) days to appeal the decision.Your First Step is Choosing the Right Nashville Divorce Lawyer
It is not wise to deal with divorce one step at a time or without legal representation, for one day you may look up and realize that your family or financial security has been jeopardized by something you just didn't see coming. That is why it is so important to have a knowledgeable divorce lawyer by your side to strategize and vigorously advocate for you in order to protect your rights and entitlements.
To schedule your initial consultation with a Cole Law Group divorce attorney, reach out to us today at (615) 490-6020. Discuss your case with someone who cares.