Do I Have to go to Court for My Divorce?

We are often asked “do I have to go to court for my divorce?” As Murfreesboro Divorce Lawyers, this is an interest we see come up all the time.

The short answer is yes, but if you have an experienced divorce lawyer and/or the right forms to use with the courts, you can waive your appearance and not have to go.

In all divorce cases, the court must sign a Final Decree of Divorce to complete the case. This Final Decree is only signed after a hearing. Typically, the parties are required to attend that hearing and give testimony. However, in recent years, our courts have allowed our clients to file an Affidavit that basically says “Hey Court, you can have that hearing without me.”

If you properly file an Affidavit, the Court will have your Final Hearing without you there, sign your Final Decree, and get you divorced.

So, again, the short answer is yes you will have a hearing, but you can skip that hearing with the right preparation and an experienced divorce lawyer in Rutherford County on your side.


Scott Kimberly and Chase Doscher practice at The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly, located in the Historic Smith & Sellers Building on the Murfreesboro Public Square. If you or a loved one need help in divorce, child custody, or any other family law matter, we can help.

How to Enter the Valentine’s Day Free Divorce

This month, The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly announced the Third Annual Valentine’s Day Free Divorce Contest.

If you want to submit your name for consideration, you can find details for the contest here:

Click Here to View Contest Details and Submit an Entry

Thank you for visiting our site to learn more about our office and our mission to better serve our clients and the community.

Annual Free Divorce Giveaway on Valentine’s Day Returns

The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly will hold its Second Annual Free Divorce Giveaway on Valentine’s Day, open for entry immediately and closing on February 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.

One winner, selected by the Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly, will receive a free divorce, which includes the office charging no fee for legal representation in the divorce. Please note that the client will be responsible for court costs and filing fees.

Applicants are encouraged to share their personal story as to why they deserve a free divorce.

For more information, and to submit an entry, visit www.MurfreesboroLawyer.com/FreeDivorce.

How Long Will My Divorce Last?

I am often asked “Scott, how long will my divorce take until it is completed?” The answer to that question depends upon how complicated your divorce is, but there are at least some minimum time periods that are easy to understand.

In Tennessee divorce, there is a waiting period for every divorce that is filed. In divorces without children, the waiting period is sixty days. In divorces with children, the waiting period is ninety days.

The waiting period means that, even if you and your spouse agree on every last detail, you cannot get divorced until at least that much time has passed.

One important note is that the waiting period does not start until the Complaint for Divorce is filed, which opens a file with your local court. If you hire a lawyer and it takes three weeks to prepare documents and file, those three weeks, which were used for preparation, will not count toward the waiting period!

If your case has been resolved at the time the waiting period expires, then your lawyer will submit the proper paperwork and your divorce will be completed when the judge signs your Final Decree of Divorce. This typically takes between a week to ten days.

If your case has not been resolved at the time the waiting period expires, then it is difficult to say how long your divorce will take. It depends on a number of things. If your case goes all the way to trial, your case may take several months, or even over a year.

Of course, the easiest way to know how long your case will take is to discuss all of the details of your case with an experienced divorce lawyer. I’m always happy to sit down with folks and share what I know about Rutherford County divorce cases.

Do I have to go to Court for an Agreed Divorce?

I am often asked “do I have to go to court in an agreed divorce, where we agree on everything?” The answer depends on a number of things, but the answer in Rutherford County divorce cases is often no.

In the past, whether or not parties had to go to court in Rutherford County to finish up an agreed divorce depended upon whether or not they had children. In agreed divorces with children, courts typically required at least one party to appear. In courts without children, however, courts would grant a divorce without the parties present, so long as the parties signed certain documents.

Rutherford County divorce courts recently announced a change to the longstanding policy regarding court appearances, which now allows all agreed divorces, even divorces where the parties have minor children, to be finalized without an appearance by the parties.

This is important because it means that, if you and your spouse agree to the terms of your divorce, you can both file your divorce and be awarded a divorce without either of you going to court.

If you and your spouse want to make the process as simple as possible, without either party having to go to court, the first, and most important, step is to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer.