FAQ

What are the grounds for divorce in Tennessee?

Tennessee is a “mixed” state, meaning that involved parties can use either “fault” or “no-fault” grounds as the basis for pursuing a divorce. A separation lasting at least two years is also sufficient for seeking a divorce.

Is there a residency requirement when filing for divorce?

Yes. At least one spouse must have lived in the state of Tennessee for at least six months (180 days) prior to filing for divorce.

What do judges consider when hearing child custody cases?

Ideally, judges want to support joint custody arrangements, and the specific nature of the time-share will be determined by the children’s best interests.

Are there any rules about child support in the state of Tennessee?

Tennessee state law requires both parents to support their children, even after their divorce is final. However, the amount of child support required depends primarily on each parent’s income and other resources, as well as how much time each parent spends with their children.

What are the adoption requirements in Tennessee?

Tennessee’s adoption laws are fairly lenient, as the requirements for adoptive parents are essentially focused on the adopted child’s well-being. Under Tennessee state law, prospective parents must be at least 18 years of age, must have been a resident of Tennessee for at least six months and must have the ability to provide for the financial and emotional needs of their new family.

If I’m a birth mother, when can the adoption process begin?

The adoption process may begin four days after the birth of the child (at the earliest), though mothers can get the process started sooner, including access to counseling, legal help and other various resources.

How much does it cost to serve divorce papers in Tennessee?

It depends on how much the local sheriff or private process server charges, but the fees are usually around $75.

If I’m getting a divorce and my spouse and I agree on everything, do I really need a lawyer?

Technically, no. But practically speaking, if you are not a lawyer, it’s probably a good idea to get one.

How long does a divorce take?

A no-fault divorce usually takes between two and six months. If you have children, you may be looking at a minimum of 90 days. However, a contested divorce may last years, with the average case lasting a year or more.

What is legal separation?

A legal separation allows for the support and maintenance of a spouse without an actual divorce. However, legal separations often don’t make sense because they can be just as expensive as a divorce.

If you’re seeking assistance with divorce, adoption or another family law matter in Chattanooga, call Fetters Law Firm, PLLC at (423) 822-8300.

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