Some people may be able to get a divorce without a lawyer.
What is an agreed divorce? Agreed means that you and your spouse agree on all points of your divorce AND you must meet all the rules below. An agreed divorce is easier and faster. It costs less than a regular divorce because:
- There are fewer court papers to fill out.
- You don’t have to have a lawyer. But it’s best to talk to a lawyer before starting any divorce.
You can ONLY get an agreed divorce if ALL of these things are true for you:
- One or both of you lived in Tennessee for at least the past 6 months OR you lived in Tennessee when you decided to divorce;
- The wife is not pregnant now;
- You both want to end your marriage;
- You don’t own buildings or land or a business together or have retirement benefits; AND
- You can agree on alimony and how to divide your property, and will both sign a Divorce Agreement.
- You and your spouse have no children together who are:
- Under age 18 or
- Disabled or
- Still in high school
Children together means children you had together that were born before your marriage AND any children adopted or born during your marriage.
If ANY of these are not true for you, you can’t use this packet! Talk to a lawyer.
If you meet ALL these rules, you can get a divorce without a lawyer.
IMPORTANT: Are you getting a divorce in Davidson County? Then you must use different papers. Davidson County Divorce Papers
IMPORTANT: You may use the Spanish papers to help you understand what the papers say. BUT you must give the English papers to the court.
You will need a lawyer if:
- You don’t meet ALL these rules OR
- You find the court papers hard to understand OR
- You or your husband/wife have an IRS qualified pension or retirement plan OR
- You or your husband/wife own buildings or land (this is called real property) OR
- You or your husband/wife own a business OR
- Your husband/wife won’t sign the Divorce Agreement OR
- Your husband/wife has a lawyer OR
- You have questions about your divorce. The court can’t give you legal advice; OR
- You don’t know how to find your husband/wife.
Important! It is always best to have a lawyer when you go to court. Going to court without a lawyer? If you can, have a lawyer look at your divorce papers first. This may protect you.