Divorces are complicated and they can be made even more complicated if your spouse does not want a divorce. Fortunately, you are not forced to remain married if you want out. If you take the four steps listed below properly, you can proceed with the divorce even if your spouse is being uncooperative.
1. Determine the grounds for divorce.
It is required that you give a reason in your petition for divorce in all US states. Tennessee offers both “fault” and “no-fault” divorces. In Tennessee, a no fault divorce means that neither spouse was at fault and both spouses agree on every aspect of their marital dissolution. For at fault divorces, there has to be proof that one spouse was at fault for adultery, abandonment, drug or alcohol addiction, two year separation (without minor children), physical abuse, etc.
2. Serve papers on the other party.
The next step after filing your petition is to notify your spouse by serving them the divorce paperwork. You can get a sheriff, process server, adult family member, or friend to serve your spouse. You can also send the paperwork by mail or publish a legal notice in your local newspaper if your spouse cannot be reached. All legal requirements for serving your spouse have to be met or you could risk having your spouse use it against you in court and have the proceedings blocked.
3. Wait the required number of days.
In the state of Tennessee, you will have to wait 30 days for a response from your spouse. The court will determine if the papers have been properly served and if the criteria is met, a court date will be set.
4. Ask for a default judgement.
If your spouse has still not signed the divorce papers, you can still move forward with the divorce. It is best to work with an experienced divorce attorney, like Murfreesboro Family Law, because you will have to go to court. A default judgement requires filing a request and appearing at a hearing to testify that you have met the filing requirements. If your spouse does not show up for the assigned court date, the judge can grant a default divorce.
Divorce is difficult, but we can help. If you are in the Middle Tennessee area, Murfreesboro Family Law can help you navigate through your divorce. We will guide you through the legal issues so that you can focus on moving forward with your life. For more information on our divorce services, contact us.