Couples who cooperate at every stage of the divorce process will find it much less expensive than spouses who are unable to draft a written separation agreement to present to the court. Despite the fact that it is not possible to file a joint petition, obtaining a cheap divorce in Tennessee is easiest if both spouses act as if they were working together.
Formally, the divorce process begins when spouse files a complaint against the other in their district family court. At this time, a fee must be paid to the service for the processing of this document. This expense can vary from county to county but is unlikely to exceed $500. For couples who are prepared to create a separation agreement without consulting a lawyer, this may be the only expense incurred, guaranteeing a cheap divorce in Tennessee.
When a spouse who is aware that divorce proceedings receives a copy of the complaint against them, they can waive their right to contest any part of the petition. Should they decide to file an official response, they will be charged a separate fee for this. If this is the case, the court will handle the procedure as a contested divorce. This is generally a more expensive option and will make it harder to receive a cheap divorce in Tennessee.
Should this be the case, it is not impossible that the spouses’ disagreement over the terms of their separation will be resolved without further expense. At court-supervised pretrial meetings, both sides will be encouraged to discuss their differences in the hopes of drafting a mutually acceptable agreement. This document should include detailed explanations of how the following areas will be followed:
• Health expenses for any children involved
• Alimony payments
• Child support payments if applicable
• Child custody arrangements if applicable
• Visitation rights if applicable
• Division of mutually owned property
• Payment of mutually acquired debts
In other cases, couples who are resolved to create a written agreement before their court date but cannot agree on any or all of these areas may decide it is worth the expense to hire a lawyer specializing in divorce mediation. Should this person’s legal advice be unable to resolve remaining differences, neither spouse may hire this attorney to represent then in court.
If it seems likely that there is no chance of drafting a mutually acceptable separation agreement, one or both spouses may decide it is necessary to hire a divorce lawyer to represent them in court. This will add a considerable expense to the process and make it unlikely that either person will be able to receive a cheap divorce in Tennessee. It is vital to ensure that you receive a detailed, written estimate of any costs you can expect to be liable for from any attorney you have a meeting with and make sure the final bill for their services is one you can afford to pay.