Tennessee Simplified Divorce Procedures

If the divorce is based on irreconcilable differences, the spouses may enter into a notarized marital settlement agreement. The agreement must: (1) make specific reference to a pending divorce by the name of the court and the docket number or (2) state that the respondent is aware that a divorce will be filed for in the state of Tennessee; and (3) state that the respondent waives service of process and waives filing an answer. The waiver of service will be valid for 120 days after the respondent signs the agreement and will constitute a general appearance by the respondent and give the court personal jurisdiction over the respondent and will constitute a default judgment. The petition for divorce must have been on file for over 60 days before a hearing will be held if the spouses have no minor children and 90 days if they have any minor children. The spouses must make adequate and sufficient provisions in their marital settlement agreement for the care and custody of any minor children and for an adequate settlement of their property. The spouses may also make provisions in their settlement for alimony. A final decree may be entered without any corroborating proof or testimony by the petitioner or respondent. If the respondent contests or denies that there are irreconcilable differences, a divorce may not be granted on those grounds, unless there is a valid marital settlement agreement. Some counties may require the respondent to sign any appearance and waiver form before the court clerk for it to be valid. In addition, in any petition for divorce, the wife’s maiden name must be stated and the race and color of each spouse must be stated. Financial affidavits may also be required. [Tennessee Code Annotated; Volume 6A, Title 36, Sections 36-4-103 and 35-4-116 and Tennessee Rules of Court].

Each state has its own unique filing procedure. When filing for divorce in Tennessee, you must adhere to the strict filing guidelines and prepare and submit the appropriate mandatory divorce documents to the county court. You can visit the Tennessee state statutes located at: to learn more about these documents. You will discover that some documents may be provided by the Tennessee Legal System and others must be constructed on a case-by-case basis containing certain information and criteria to adhere to the Tennessee Laws and the filing requirements.