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How Long do You have to be Married Before a Divorce in Tennessee?

We regularly hear about celebrities getting married on a whim and getting divorced a few days - or even hours - later. However, is this a possibility for couples in Tennessee? Do you have to be married for a specific time period before you can get a divorce? Below, we will take a look at different scenarios that may or may not require a certain length of marriage prior to a divorce.

The Waiting Period in Tennessee

Even if you file for divorce in Tennessee shortly after marriage, it does not mean your divorce will necessarily be finalized right away. This is because state law imposes a waiting period for a court to review a divorce petition after the petition is filed. This is supposed to be a “cooling off” period for the spouses to ensure they did not seek a divorce in haste. Once you are divorced, you cannot undo the process, so the courts want to be sure you truly want to legally end your marriage.

The typical waiting periods are as follows:

  • 60 days if you have no unmarried children younger than 18
  • 90 days if you have at least one unmarried child younger than 18

Even if you are certain you want a divorce right away, you will need to remain married for the applicable waiting period before you can get divorced in Tennessee.

Separation as Grounds for Divorce

Tennessee gives you different options when it comes to citing the grounds for your divorce. For example, you may cite irreconcilable differences or fault-based grounds such as adultery or cruelty. Some people choose to cite the no-fault ground of separation, which has certain requirements.

If you give separation as the basis of your divorce, you must show that you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for at least two continuous years and that during those two years, you did not cohabitate as spouses at all. Clearly, this type of divorce case requires that you were married but separated for two years or more.

The Divorce Process Can Take Time

You can file a divorce petition at any time after marriage as long as you have been a resident of Tennessee for at least six months. This does not mean that your divorce will be finalized in a few short weeks or months, however. Many divorces involve complex legal issues that must be resolved, and it can take time to do so. It helps to have the representation of a skilled divorce attorney who knows how to seek a favorable settlement agreement whenever possible. Reaching an agreement can save you time and money, and can result in a final divorce judgment sooner than going to trial.

Consult with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Murfreesboro Today

At Dotson & Taylor, our divorce attorneys know that there are many reasons why you may file for divorce, and you may realize you made a mistake with your marriage after a short time. Call 615-890-1982 or contact us online to discuss your specific situation and the divorce process today.