How Long Will My Divorce Take?

It likely will not shock anyone to learn that one of the first questions that we are asked as divorce attorneys is something like “how long will my divorce in Rutherford County take?”

As the old lawyer jokes run, the answer is simply: it depends.

The timeline for divorce in Rutherford County varies depending on which of the two routes you choose to get you to the finish line: whether it is agreed or contested.

The Waiting Period
Regardless of whether your case is agreed upon or not, Tennessee has what is called the “cooling off period” which effectively is a mandatory waiting period before the Court will sign off on your divorce.

If there are no minor children, you are looking at sixty (60) days to wait before the judge will sign. If you do have minor children, then you are in the window of ninety (90) days. Ordinarily, after the waiting period passes, it takes the Judge a week to process and sign the documents if the parties are in agreement.

Agreed Divorce
AKA Uncontested Divorce, Irreconcilable Differences Divorce
Let’s first take on the straightforward option. An uncontested divorce is what it sounds like: it’s based on an agreement. This agreement encompasses everything that is built up during the course of a marriage and includes your stuff, your kids, your money, etc.

In this process, we are hired to draft all divorce documents necessary and to take the agreement of the parties and put it into court-approved forms and language. Between preparing, signing, and filing these documents, it usually takes a couple of weeks.

All in, and assuming that both sides sign documents within a week of drafting, you are looking at roughly three months for an agreed divorce without children and four months if you have minor children.

Contested Divorce
As straight forward as the agreed divorce timeline is, contested is the opposite.

Here, we are hired to draft a complaint for divorce and have it served by private process server on your spouse. They have thirty (30) days to respond to the complaint. If they do not, you move forward on a default basis which can usually be done right at the end of the waiting period. If your spouse does respond with their answer, then the case may take several months to resolve.

Just as in the ID divorce process, the cooling off period is still applicable. However, the difference between the two is that, unlike in the ID process where the period begins upon all the documents being filed with the Court, the period for contested divorces begins when only the complaint is filed.

Looking at the contested route from 30,000 feet above, the timeline can be as quickly as the parties can agree to terms, including the sixty (60) or ninety (90) day waiting period, or as long as it takes to resolve every outstanding issue between you and your spouse. In all, it just depends on the unique circumstances of each case.

No matter if you are facing an agreed divorce or a contested divorce, our office has experienced divorce attorneys to help you every step of the way. Feel free to give us a call to discuss.


Scott Kimberly and Chase Doscher are Criminal Defense Attorneys and Divorce Attorneys in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. If you need any assistance, you may reach us at 615-890-1099.

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.