How Long Does a Divorce Take in TN (Tennessee)?

If you’ve decided to end your marriage officially, you probably wonder how long a divorce takes in TN. In general, there are various factors that impact the divorce timeline in the state, and you can learn about them in this article.

We described an approximate duration of a divorce process based on the type of marriage dissolution, touched upon a Tennessee divorce waiting period, and answered the question, “How long do you have to be separated before divorce in Tennessee?”. Besides, we are ready to help you with document preparation if you apply for a no-fault, uncontested divorce.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Tennessee?

The average duration of an uncontested marriage dissolution varies from a couple of months to half a year. An uncontested divorce implies that spouses agree on all divorce-associated issues like child custody and support, property division, alimony, etc. Besides, they are willing to cooperate at different stages of the divorce process so that the overall divorce timeline can be only a few months, as there is no need for lengthy court litigation.

Still, when finding out the answer to “How long does an uncontested divorce take in Tennessee?”, partners must consider certain predetermined timeframes. For instance, after filing documents with the clerk, a couple has to complete a waiting period. It lasts 60 days if spouses don’t have minor kids and 90 days if they do. Moreover, a petitioner has to serve divorce documents within 60 days from filing. In turn, a defendant must complete an answer within 30 days. However, since spouses are in agreement, a defendant can sign a waiver of service, speeding up the divorce process.

So, how long does it take to get a divorce in Tennessee if partners file for an uncontested divorce? On average, the process lasts 3-6 months and mostly depends on the mandatory waiting period and the court workload.   

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Tennessee?

A contested divorce process is usually much longer than an uncontested one and can last over a year. When people ask, “How long does a contested divorce take in Tennessee?” they should remember that such marriage dissolution requires handling various disputable topics, such as child custody, distribution of assets, alimony payments, etc. When partners cannot or don’t attempt to compromise, they will have to spend months fighting over their interests in courtrooms.

Besides, a contested marriage dissolution with a particular fault-based ground is likely to take more time to finalize if compared to no-fault divorces. It is due to the fact that the filing spouse or their attorney has to collect evidence and prove the other party’s wrongdoing, which inevitably increases a divorce timeline. Also, involving third-party experts to resolve disputed issues affects the process duration.

So, how long does it take to get a divorce in Tennessee when spouses disagree on the key points? The timeline varies from case to case, but the process may last more than a year.

How Long Does a Divorce Case Stay Open in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, a marriage dissolution case is considered open when the complaint or petition for divorce is filed. It can be done by one spouse, a petitioner, or both spouses, who will be regarded as co-petitioners.

Unlike in some other states, spouses in Tennessee are not required to live separately and apart before filing for divorce unless a separate residence for at least two years is an official no-fault ground for starting marriage dissolution.

The duration for which a divorce case can stay open varies depending on the specific circumstances of marriage dissolution and its type. Whether the case is contested or not, a divorce timeline depends on a mandatory Tennessee divorce waiting period.

If spouses have reached an agreement on all issues, they can get divorced shortly after it expires, depending on how soon the court can schedule the hearing and start reviewing the case.

However, a case will stay open longer if one spouse claims that the marriage was irretrievably broken while the other party contests that statement or if the parties cannot agree on marriage dissolution terms. Therefore, the divorce process will be prolonged as the court needs time to study the case in detail and make an informed, unbiased decision to issue a Divorce Decree.

When Is a Divorce Final in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, a divorce is considered final once the court issues a Final Decree of Divorce. It is a legal document that contains the terms of a marriage dissolution and outlines the rights and obligations of both parties related to child custody and support, property division, and other aspects pertinent to the case. 

Giving a definite answer to the question, “How long does it take for a divorce to be final in Tennessee?” is difficult, as different factors influence a divorce timeline.

  • Spouses who cannot avoid a contested divorce process usually have to wait much longer to have their marriage terminated than those who opt for an uncontested divorce.
  • Some couples are lucky to initiate their marriage dissolution when the court’s workload is low, and the hearing can be scheduled relatively quickly, so they have higher chances of receiving a Final Divorce Decree within a couple of months, shortly after the waiting period ends.
  • Moreover, when calculating how long it takes to finalize a divorce in Tennessee, we can’t disregard a mandatory Tennessee divorce waiting period, which can be either 60 or 90 days, depending on the case.