Deciding to end a marriage is never an easy decision to make; however, if you have decided that divorce is the best course of action for you it is best to get the process started as soon as possible. One of the most common questions parties to a divorce action have is “How long will a divorce take in Smyrna, Tennessee?” There is no simple answer to that question because the amount of time a divorce will take depends on a variety of factors. Only an experienced Smyrna divorce lawyer can evaluate your specific circumstances and provide you with an estimate of the time frame you can expect your divorce to take; however, understanding the factors that can influence the time frame for your divorce process may be beneficial in the meantime.
- Waiting period –like many states, Tennessee has a mandatory “waiting period” before any divorce can be finalized. Often referred to as a “cooling off” period it is intended to ensure that parties cannot get a quick divorce when tempers are running hot. In Tennessee, a divorce cannot be finalized until a minimum of 60 days have passed from the time the divorce is filed by spouses with no minor children, or 90 days from the time the divorce is filed by spouses with minor children. Contested divorces typically take much longer to resolve.
- Minor children –a divorce that includes minor children will often take longer simply because issues such as custody and visitation as well as child support must be resolved before the divorce can be finalized.
- Assets and debts – as a general rule, the more assets and debts involved the longer it will take to conclude the divorce process.
- Contested vs. Uncontested –without fail, the single biggest factor that determines how long a Tennessee divorce will take is whether or not the divorce is contested. The more contentious the divorce is the longer it will take to resolve. If the divorce is amicable and the parties are able to work together to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, a divorce with minor children and millions of dollars in assets and debts can be concluded faster than a divorce with no children and few assets/debts.
If you are considering a divorce in Smyrna, or have recently been served with paperwork indicating that your spouse has already filed for divorce, it is important that you consult with an experienced Smyrna divorce attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights and interests are protected in the divorce.