Representing the needs of families in transition in Rutherford County and the surrounding areas
Do you remember that feeling you had when you first realized your marriage was over? All the turmoil, stress and uncertainty about your future can cause incredible amounts of stress and anxiety. At the law firm of Pate & Knott, we do our best to ease that stress by taking the legal burden off your shoulders. We are sensitive to the emotional and financial difficulties you might be facing. We are ready with a listening ear, providing answers to your questions and solutions to your challenges. We have helped countless couples navigate the rocky road to ending their marriage, and we can do the same for you.
Murfreesboro Divorce attorneys take on both contested and uncontested divorce in Tennessee
There are two broad categories under Tennessee divorce law — contested and uncontested divorce. Here are the basic outlines and who qualifies:
Uncontested divorce -- In an uncontested divorce, the couple separates under the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” which simply means that the marriage is damaged beyond repair and both parties agree to end it without faulting the other party. In order for a contested divorce to proceed, both parties must agree to every issue with regard to division of assets and debts, alimony, child support, custody and a parenting time/visitation plan when minor children are involved.
The couple, with the help of their divorce attorneys, draft and agree upon a Marital Dissolution Agreement and Parenting Plan, which is then filed with the court. In most cases, the couple does not have to appear in court for the judge to rule on their divorce, wherein they have reached an amicable resolution.
Contested divorce -- In a contested divorce, one or both of the parties does not agree to the terms of the divorce, or one or both parties might have grounds for divorce such as inappropriate marital conduct, or one of the other 15 grounds for divorce recognized by TN divorce laws. Given that Tennessee is a ‘fault' state, in order for the court to grant a divorce there must be sufficient evidence of specific grounds for divorce.
Filing for divorce in Tennessee
Whether you and your spouse are agreeable and are filing an uncontested divorce, or you cannot agree to the terms of the divorce and are filing a contested divorce, we are on your side. Our Murfreesboro divorce attorneys are skilled in handling both contested and uncontested divorces and always keep your best interests at the forefront. Trust the family law team of Pate & Knott to to guide you and our attorneys will personally work with you through this challenging time.
Once you have met with one of our knowledgeable divorce attorneys, the next step is filing the complaint, or petition for divorce, if you are the spouse seeking the divorce. The complaint for divorce and a summons will then be served to the other spouse through the court system if the divorce is filed on a contested basis. When the complaint is filed, a temporary, automatic injunction is filed at the same time, to prevent the sale or transfer of marital assets and protect the parties from threats of physical harm or harassment. A spouse is required to respond within thirty days following service of a complaint. A temporary hearing can be set earlier as exigent circumstances may require.
If a divorce is granted on an uncontested basis, Tennessee law requires a 60 day waiting period before the judge will grant the divorce, and a 90 day waiting period if minor children are involved. We work closely with you to understand your unique situation, identify your needs and carefully plan ahead to protect your best interests.
Mediation with a Rule 31 Mediator, Attorney Heather Knott
In Tennessee, it is common for the judge to order you and your spouse to attend mediation during your divorce process and prior to your case going to trial. Mediation, or alternative dispute resolution, provides an opportunity for you and your spouse to resolve contested issues and find solutions without going to trial. Issues such as child support, child custody, spousal support and division of property and debts can be addressed and resolved during mediation. You can choose your own mediator or the judge can appoint one. Mediation is a less stressful, less expensive option than a trial, and one that can expedite the divorce, avoiding long court proceedings and expensive litigation. Clients benefit from attorney Heather Knott's designation as a Rule 31 Mediator and she has earned the reputation in Murfreesboro to assist you settle your case and be in control of the outcome. Attorney Knott has been approved by the Tennessee Supreme Court as a family law mediator.
Murfreesboro divorce attorneys offer formidable representation in the courtroom
For those divorce cases not resolved by settlement through mediation or after extensive negotiations and preparation, a trial date will be scheduled. Once in the courtroom, the judge will decide on all the issues of your divorce, including property division, settlement of debts, alimony, child support, child custody and visitation. At Pate & Knott, our Murfreesboro divorce attorneys have a combined 50 years of experience helping couples navigate the emotional, often hotly contested, process of dissolving their marriage. We offer strong legal guidance and compassionate support, protecting your interests and helping you and your family transition to the next chapter.