Divorce

Nashville Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Offering Trusted Advocacy for Families

What LGBTQ clients should know about same-sex divorce in Tennessee

The same ruling that recognized the right of same-sex couples to marry also gave the states the right to grant same-sex divorce. Couples who live in Tennessee, but had to travel to other another state to get legally married, and then were unable to get a divorce in their home state, are now able to do so.

At Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, our Nashville same-sex divorce attorneys are here to help you navigate the often-contentious process of divorce and help you make informed decisions that will prepare you for the next stage of your life. While some elements of same-sex divorce are the same as those affecting traditional marriages, we know that LGBTQ individuals will face unique challenges, too. We provide competent, practiced guidance for clients that supports their goals and recognizes their needs.

What are the residency requirements for Tennessee divorce?

Before you can file for a divorce in Tennessee you must meet the residency requirements, or the court may dismiss the case. If you are filing the divorce petition, you must have been a resident of Tennessee at the time the grounds occurred unless the grounds took place outside of the state. In such a case, the person filing (the petitioner) must have been a resident for at least six months before filing. The divorce must be filed in the county in which the respondent resides, or the county in which the parties resided at the time of their separation.

Legal grounds for filing for divorce in Tennessee

Tennessee allows for 15 grounds for divorce, which the Legislature has decided are justifiable reasons to seek a divorce (TCA Section 36-4-101). There are some grounds that will not apply to same-sex couples. There is also a no-fault ground of irreconcilable differences, which means that neither party blames the other for the demise of the marriage, but they both agree that it has ended.

Contested and uncontested divorce in Tennessee

When the parties are unable to agree on the issues of the divorce such as how the property will be divided, who will get child custody, or whether there will be alimony, the divorce is contested. If the parties are able to agree on all terms of the divorce, it is uncontested.

After one of the parties files a petition for divorce, there is a 60-day waiting period before the divorce can be granted by the court, and a 90-day waiting period if the couple has unmarried children under the age of 18.  This does not mean that your divorce will necessarily be resolved in 60 or 90 days; if you don’t have an agreement as to all issues in the divorce, it will likely take months beyond the waiting period before you will be divorced.

How does Tennessee handle property division?

Tennessee follows the equitable distribution model for the division of marital property in divorce. Same-sex couples will benefit from the services of an experienced Nashville divorce attorney from Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, because we can help you sort through the confusing process of valuing the marital property and deciding what you would like to hold on to and what you are willing to let go.

If a business, vacation home, and/or foreign assets are part of the marital estate, we investigate and value the property and determine what is separate and what is marital property, and how it can be divided between the parties.

Alimony awards in same-sex divorce

Spousal support provides another hurdle same-sex couples must jump. Because alimony awards are based in part on how long a couple has been married, and because Tennessee did not recognize same-sex marriages until the middle of 2015, you may be denied spousal support depending upon your particular situation.

Parenting plans, access, and issues of custody

Same-sex couples are unable to have children that will have a biological connection to both parents; unless the non-biological parent formally adopts the child, he or she may face difficulties when it comes to deciding child custody. Unless the couple can come to a mutual agreement on their own, the courts could deny access entirely to one parent, or deny child support payments to the parent with primary residential custody. Having an experienced Nashville family law attorney on your side can help you remain in your child’s life.

Dependable support alongside skilled advocacy

Divorce can feel like a long, lonely road leaving you unsure of where to turn for advice and guidance. Our trusted Nashville divorce attorneys are here to remind you that you are not going through the challenge of divorce on your own. We take on the complicated legal issues so that you can focus on getting your life back on track and preparing for your new life after the divorce is final. We advise you about the options available, and guide you towards making smart decisions that will serve you in the future. While we are known in Nashville as strong litigators who expect the best for our clients, we are always willing to resolve issues respectfully and in good faith through mediation.

Contact us today to learn about your options for your Nashville same-sex divorce

Our approach when it comes to divorce is to be ready to litigate, but we are also prepared to settle if we can get the best results for you in that way. Whether your same-sex divorce is contentious and complicated, or uncontested and certain, our family law team at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC is always prepared to represent your interests and obtain the best settlement possible for you. Our office is in historic Edgefield within sight of the courthouse with plenty of free parking. You are welcome to call us today at 615-454-9899 or contact us to schedule a consultation with a trusted Nashville divorce attorney.

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