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Tennessee Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Tennessee divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
How does DivorceWriter work? 375
First, complete the basic pre-purchase portion of the online interview. Then, set up your... more
What happens after I receive my DivorceWriter documents? 1917
Just follow the step-by-step instructions included with your DivorceWriter package, which ... more
How do I make changes to my documents after I receive them? 1449
If you want to make changes to any of your documents after receiving them in the mail, you... more
Will DivorceWriter documents work in my state and/or in my situation? 1969
DivorceWriter's goal is to provide self-help divorce documents. However, DivorceWriter is ... more
I finished the online interview. How long will it take to receive my documents? 1981
Get your DivorceWriter documents immediately using the instant download option. You may al... more
I want to use DivorceWriter to prepare my own divorce documents. What do I do next? 1864
To get started, click on "Start the Process" above. You will be taken to our online inter... more
Can I use DivorceWriter in my state? 1979
DivorceWriter offers divorce documents for nearly every U.S. state and the District of Col... more
What if I need additional documents that were not included in my DivorceWriter package? 2000
Contact customer service at info@divorcewriter.com with the name or form number of the the... more
What is the online interview? 1863
In as little as 10-15 minutes, the online interview allows you to enter the information ne... more
Can you overnight my documents to me so that I can have them right away? 2586
Get your DivorceWriter documents immediately using the instant download option. You may a... more
How do I change my password? 1972
To change your password you must first log back into your account using the login section ... more
How do I make changes to my existing DivorceWriter account? 1973
If you already have a DivorceWriter account and need to make changes to your online interv... more
Does DivorceWriter provide documents for annulments? 2165
No. DivorceWriter does not currently provide documents for annulments.
What is included? 3784
The DivorceWriter package includes all forms needed to complete your divorce. These state... more
Will my documents be completed or will I have to fill them out myself when I receive them? 3121
For the most part, your DivorceWriter documents arrive completed with the information that... more
Do we need to notify the court of any address changes during the divorce? 3405
Any questions concerning the requirements for notifying the court about changes of address... more
Does it matter which spouse files for divorce? 3502
Generally speaking, both spouses should have the same rights in a divorce proceeding regar... more
I didn't list any property or debts in the online interview. Why do some of my documents ask the court to divide property and debts? 3360
Asking the Court for to divide property and debts fairly is standard language in the Divor... more
How do I serve a spouse that lives in a different state or country? 3810
The process for serving a spouse that lives in another state or country depends on the sta... more
I need a form that is not available online or in the DivorceWriter's supplemental forms database. How can I find a sample form elsewhere? 3352
Divorce documents are public record, so it is usually possible to obtain a copy of one or ... more
What is DivorceWriter's fax number? 3419
DivorceWriter's fax number is (800) 344 9889.
Can I create another divorce in my account?  2712
Yes, you can purchase additional divorces from your Account Summary page. Login to your a... more
What's the difference between an Acknowledgement and a Jurat? 3634
With an Acknowledgement, the notary is certifying that the signer appeared before the nota... more
We were married in a foreign country. Can we divorce in the U.S.?  2635
As long as you meet the residency requirements for filing for divorce in the state where y... more
I didn't list any property or debts in the online interview. Why do some of my documents ask the court to divide our property and/or debts? 3361
The Divorce Petitions/Divorce Complaints in most states contain language asking the Court ... more
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How much is the filing fee in Tennessee? 865
The filing fee charged by the Court is NOT included in the DivorceWriter price. The fee for filing for divorce in Tennessee is typically $150.00-$350.00.
What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Tennessee? 1027
1) Both spouses review and sign divorce documents.
2) One spouse files the documents.
3) Wait 60 days (90 days if the spouses have minor children together). Note: Some Tennessee counties require the spouse that filed for divorce to attend a brief hearing, usually 15 minutes or less.
4) The filing spouse attends a final hearing, after which the Judge finalizes the divorce.
How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in Tennessee? 1026
In place of formal service of process, the Defendant may enter into a written notarized Marital Dissolution Agreement with Plaintiff that makes specific reference to a pending divorce by a court and docket number, or states that the defendant is aware that one will be filed in this state and that the defendant waives further service and waives filing an answer to the complaint.

Such waiver of service shall only be valid for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days from the date the last party signs the Marital Settlement Agreement.Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-103(a)(2).
How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Tennessee? 1023
A Complaint for Divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences must have been on file for sixty (60) days before the final divorce hearing if the parties have no unmarried child under eighteen (18) years of age and for ninety (90) days before the final divorce hearing if the parties have an unmarried child under eighteen (18) years of age. Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-103(c)(1).
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 875
The spouse who files for divorce must attend a hearing in order to have the divorce finalized. The presence of the non-filing spouse is not required at the hearing.
What documents are included in the self-prepared Tennessee DivorceWriter package? 861
In addition to Tennessee filing procedures, your self-prepared Tennessee DivorceWriter package will include:
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet Form 10
  • Complaint for Divorce Form 100
  • Marital Dissolution Agreement Form 400
  • Final Decree Form 411
Customers with minor and/or legally dependent children will also receive:
  • Permanent Parenting Plan Form 145
  • Child Support Worksheet
  • Title IV-D Information Form 415 (if one parent is receiving assistance from the State of Tennessee)
  • Wage Assignment Order Form 340 (if the Permanent Parenting Plan provides for this form of payment of child support)
What is considered to be the date of separation in Tennessee? 647
The term "separation date" sometimes refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at... more
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Tennessee? 851
While there are several fault-based grounds for divorce in Tennessee, irreconcilable differences is considered the "no-fault" grounds for divorce. Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-101(14).

For additional information on grounds for divorce in Tennessee, see Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-101.
Do any documents require notarization? 1982
The filing instructions included with your DivorceWriter package will provide additional i... more
What are the Tennessee residency requirements for filing for divorce? 1010
A divorce may be granted in Tennessee if the cause for the divorce (ex. irreconcilable differences) occurred while the Plaintiff was a resident of Tennessee. Additionally, a divorce may be granted in Tennessee even if the cause for the divorce occurred outside of Tennessee and even if the Plaintiff resided outside of Tennessee at the time, as long as either the Plaintiff or the Defendant is a resident of Tennesee for a period of six (6) months before the divorce is filed. Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-104(a).

A divorce may be filed in the Circuit Court in the county where the parties resided together at the time of their separation, or in the county where the Defendant resides if the Defendant is a resident of Tennessee. However, if the Defendant is not a resident of Tennessee or is incarcerated, then the divorce can be filed in the county where the Plaintiff resides. Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-105(a).
What are the signature requirements for the documents I will receive? 899
The state-specific filing procedures included in the DivorceWriter package indicate which ... more
What if my spouse and I don't live in the same state? 1856
As long as one spouse meets the residency requirements for the state where the divorce wil... more
Do I have to divorce in the state where I was married? 1801
No. You can divorce in any state where you or your spouse meet the divorce residency requi... more
Can the wife change her name back during the divorce? 1807
Yes, the wife may restore her name to the name she had before the marriage took place. If ... more
Where do I file the divorce documents in Tennessee? 1013
In Tennessee, divorces are filed at the Circuit Court Clerk's office.
How do I determine if my income falls below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines? 3528
Some states require a person who is applying for a filing fee waiver to have an annual inc... more
Can my spouse have documents notarized in a different state? 2981
Yes. If your spouse is unable to have documents notarized by a Notary Public in the state... more
Where can I find state-by-state information on how long it takes to get a divorce? 3834
Depending on the state where you live, it can take as little as two weeks and as much as s... more
My documents ask for the "Cause Number" instead of a "Case Number." Is this correct? 3231
Yes. In a number of U.S. states, the Courts use the term "Cause Number" instead of "Case ... more
How do I fix, or "amend" an error in a document I've already filed with the Court? 2934
If there was an error on one or more of the documents that you have already filed with the... more
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How is child support calculated in Tennessee? 2087
Based on the information provided by the customer when completing the Tennessee online interview, a computer generated Child Support Worksheet is automatically created and sent to the customer as part of the DivorceWriter package. See Tennessee Child Support Guidelines for additional information on child support calculation in Tennessee.
What is the difference between child support and spousal support? 338
Spousal support is paid to one spouse by the other for the support and care of the receivi... more
We have agreed that one spouse will pay spousal support to the other. What are some options? 1585
Two common ways for one spouse to receive spousal support payments from the other are (1) ... more
Can we specify how we will claim our child(ren) for income tax purposes? 2086
The DivorceWriter online interview allows you to designate which spouse will claim your mi... more
We have received our documents, but have decided that we do not want any parenting time schedule. Is this possible? 2239
The DivorceWriter online interview, which you completed previously, was designed to accomm... more
We have children. Can I still use DivorceWriter? 1802
Yes, you can use DivorceWriter to create your divorce forms even if you have children. Th... more
Do I have to pay income tax on spousal support payments that I receive? 1984
For federal income tax purposes, spousal support is commonly considered taxable income for... more
What if my children live in another state and we already have a court order or informal arrangement concerning child support and child custody/parenting time? 3651
If you want to have the court issue an order as part of the divorce concerning child suppo... more
What if we want child support payments made to the Child Support Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Human Services? 3805
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), P.L. 104-193, required all states to establish and operate a centralized unit to collect and disburse any support collected for cases in which support is being enforced under the provisions of Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. These are referred to as IV-D child support cases.

Payments for other child support cases (non-IV-D cases) must also be collected and disbursed by the Centralized Collections Unit (CCU) if the initial support order was issued on or after January 1, 1994 and the payments are being made by income assignment. The Tennessee Department of Human Services implemented the CCU on October 1, 1999. If you want to file a Wage Assignment Order, DivorceWriter will e-mail one to you at no additional charge. Send you request to info@divorcewriter.com. More information about the Child Support Services Division is available at here.
What is the home state of the children under UCCJEA? 3543
While you are entitled to file for divorce in any state where the residency requirements a... more
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Can I receive a portion of my spouse's retirement plan even though his/her retirement is several years away? 46
The most common way for one spouse to secure the right to a portion of the other spouse's ... more
Do we have to list the debts we have agreed to divide? 1989
About 30% of DivorceWriter customers list debts. The debts listed will appear on the sett... more
We want to transfer real estate into only one spouse's name. Do we need a Quit Claim Deed? 311
Generally, if you want to transfer jointly held real estate into the name of only one spou... more
What options do we have for our real estate? 1887
The DivorceWriter provides an array of options for disposing of your real estate, includin... more
Can we divide/list as many items of personal property as we want? 1764
Choose to list all, some, or no property. The customer decides which property, if any, to ... more
Do I need to list the legal description of my real estate? 757
It is generally sufficient to just list the physical address of the property (street, city... more
What is the "legal description" of a piece of real estate? 2780
The legal description is usually a one to two paragraph description of land that includes ... more
Why do my DivorceWriter documents say that we do not have life insurance or other property that we actually do have? 2726
Some states require divorcing spouses to provide information on several different types of... more
When can I record the quit claim deed my spouse signed? 3811
One spouse may choose to sign a quit claim deed transferring his or her interest in the ma... more
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I received my DivorceWriter package today, but I'm not sure I want to file for divorce right away. How how long are these papers good for? 2229
Unsigned divorce documents do not have an expiration date per se. Applicable time periods... more
I can't find my spouse. Can I still use DivorceWriter? 2452
DivorceWriter is designed for couples who have reached an agreement on all issues and who ... more
What if one spouse is in the military? 1011
If both parties are willing to sign the papers, ending your marriage when a spouse is in the military is generally much like a regular divorce, although there may be as many as three possible jurisdictions where the dissolution or divorce can be filed:
  • The legal residence of the military member
  • The legal residence of the spouse
  • The state where the servicemember is stationed

Typically, either you or your spouse must reside in Tennessee or be stationed there in order to file for dissolution or divorce there. For additional information on residency requirements, the servicemember may wish to contact his or her local JAG office.

Any person in the armed services of the United States, or the spouse of any such person, who has been living in Tennessee for a period of not less than one (1) year shall be presumed to be a resident of Tennessee.

See Tennessee Code Annotated 36-4-104(b).
What if one spouse is living in a foreign country? 903
If your spouse is able to receive documents in the mail and is willing to sign and return ... more
I am not sure my marriage was legal. Do I even need a divorce? 1970
DivorceWriter is for people who want to end their marriages. If you have any questions reg... more
What if I have an out of state driver's license or no license at all? 995
If the spouse who files for divorce does not have a valid in-state driver's license, it ma... more
My spouse is currently incarcerated. Can we still use DivorceWriter? 2234
Yes, as long as your spouse is capable of receiving documents and signing them in front of... more
How do we get documents notarized in a foreign country? 2449
The meaning of the term "notary" varies widely from country to country. To find a Notary ... more
Can I use divorce forms even though they contain gender-specific terms? 3230
One thing that has lagged behind following the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwid... more
My spouse is currently incarcerated. What address do I use? 2745
You may use the address at the facility where your spouse is currently incarcerated. Divo... more
How do I end a civil union or domestic partnership? 3446
When recognized in the state, civil unions and/or domestic partnerships can be entered int... more
Which states allow same-sex divorce? 3530
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nati... more
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Where can I find the full-text version of the Tennessee divorce statutes online? 883
Tennessee State Divorce Laws
Tennessee Code Title 36 Chapters 4-6
Where can I find additional help? 2410
Additional help is available. Click here to find legal help from the American Bar Associat... more
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If unable to find help on this page, issues of a non-legal nature may be directed to customer service.
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