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.

Divorce: Quality Experiences with Children as a Low Income Spouse

Financial Security Without Collateral Damage to Children
Unfortunately, kids are often collateral damage in a divorce. Divorcing parents are concerned with how often they will see their children. However, they are also concerned with the financial result of divorce. Under the child support guidelines, the number of days spent with the kids directly impacts the child support award to be paid, which leads to an uncomfortable situation where both parents are fighting for more time with the kids and neither parent’s motive is clear.

When you throw in the emotional impact of divorce, and the fact that each parent may be fueled to gain an upper hand on the other in the divorce, the fight over the kids can become poisonous.

Providing Quality Experiences as a Low Income Parent
The most important step towards making sure that both parents can afford to have quality experiences with the kids after divorce is to fight for every cent of financial support. This includes both spousal support, which is sometimes called alimony, and child support.

In a situation where the Father is the high income earner, but the Mother has more time with the kids, the Father may want to be the “fun parent,” who takes his children on weekend trips and theme park vacations. The Mother may feel forced into being the “serious parent,” who handles the weekday responsibilities of housework, homework, and school events. Naturally, the lower income parent in this situation is going to feel limited in the ability to have quality experiences with the kids.

The primary check against a high income parent using a lot of money to have more quality experiences with the children than the low income parent is the court, who will award the low income parent a certain portion of the high income parent’s income to provide for the children.

The lower income parent needs to make sure that the court knows the income and earning potential of the higher income parent. If the higher income parent’s income is accurate, then the lower income parent should receive some kind of financial assistance, which will allow both parents to have quality experiences with the kids.

How to Avoid Revenge Debt During Divorce

Tina Orem with Credit Card Guide wrote an article that provides Seven Steps to Avoid Revenge Debt During Divorce. I was fortunate enough to chat with Ms. Orem and be quoted in the article.

In Murfreesboro, Divorce is often contested. When one spouse decides to end a marriage, he or she will file for divorce in Rutherford County, but what happens to the marital money during the divorce?

Often, people find themselves in a situation where a divorce action has been filed but they are technically still married. This may lead to a problem that some call revenge debt.

Revenge debt, in the divorce world, is the term used to describe a situation where one spouse takes out debt in the other spouse’s name in retaliation for filing for divorce or for other behavior. Unfortunately, since the parties are still legally married, one spouse may be able to do that.

If you are contemplating divorce, or have filed for divorce, what are some practical steps you can take to prevent what some call revenge debt?

In short, the best advice can be boiled down to two points: be proactive and be preemptive. However, Ms. Orem interviewed several lawyers in the article, from all across the country, and put together the best advice and tips. Give it a read!

Several of these principles apply in Tennessee Divorce. However, every case is different. If you are facing divorce in Murfreesboro or Rutherford County and are worried about your spouse taking out revenge debt against you, give me a call and we can discuss your options and how you can protect yourself from revenge debt.

Child Support is No Laughing Matter When it Comes to Divorce

Each state has their own laws when matters revolve around child support. Knowing the exact payment can weigh on a few different factors, so it is important to consult with a local child support attorney on these laws.

Some general factors include both parent’s wages and income from all sources along with the number of kids within a family.

Other areas of concern circle around the average amount of child care costs, health care costs, benefits or even costs associated with a previous divorce.

It’s important to keep in mind that child support is key to a child’s well-being. With this condition, lower costs are a concern and hiring a lawyer to leverage payments can go a long way for both parties.

For someone to lower a payment, they must show a substantial change in circumstances, which means the individual’s circumstances have changed since the initial order on child support. This may include situations that relate to health concerns of a parent or a change in employment to name a few.

With all of this in mind, how much child support each parent pays can differ significantly. Nonetheless, the relevancy of a lawyer in the matter is vital in all accounts.

To estimate what your child support payment may be, you can use the Tennessee Child Support Worksheet, which can be found here.

For other areas of family law in Murfreesboro, feel free to contact Joe Brandon & Scott Kimberly, Attorneys at Law at 615-890-2399.