DIVORCE AND SEPARATION
Divorce is difficult, there is no way around it. If you are facing a divorce, or are considering filing for divorce, you should absolutely contact an attorney immediately. Divorce is almost always contested in some form or another, even when couples say that they want an "uncontested" divorce. There is a lot of emotion involved, and often one party feels rejected or slighted.
When considering divorce, it is important to try to take emotion out of the equation. Under Tennessee Law, marriage and divorce are dictated by statute. In the eyes of the law, a marriage is a contract, and divorce is the dissolution of the contract. If you are ready to file for divorce, it is best to view the proceedings as a business transaction. Emotions play a huge part in a divorce, especially when there is a party at fault or if there are children involved. Hiring an attorney helps by creating a buffer between you and the divorce, so you can have time to consider the situation and do what is best for you.
If you want a divorce, you must decide whether you wish to pursue a divorce based on irreconcilable differences or a fault based divorce. An irreconcilable differences divorce requires the agreement of both parties. A fault based divorce requires a party prove that their spouse is guilty of violating a ground for divorce found in the Tennessee Code. There are strengths and weaknesses to both choices, however, if at all possible it is usually best for all involved if an agreement can be reached rather than a court deciding the terms of the divorce.
The courtroom is not the only place a divorce can be decided. As discussed above, the parties can agree on the terms of the divorce and provide documentation of that agreement to the court. There is also mediation, where the parties and their attorneys lay out their positions to a third party mediator. Then, the mediator discusses the case with the parties. In Tennessee, mediation is required in all contested divorce cases except in the rarest of circumstances.
Divorces are complicated. There are a lot of deadlines to be adhered to, motions and petitions to be filed, and court hearings to attend. Managing a divorce is a full time job, and most people do not have the time or experience to handle their divorce and protect their rights. If you are considering a divorce, call Matuszak Law today to speak to an attorney.