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Benefits of Filing First for Divorce in Tennessee

Jan. 22, 2020

No matter what the reasons are, going through a divorce is never easy. It’s difficult to admit that a relationship you thought would last forever is coming to an end. Beyond the heartbreak of ending a marriage, dealing with the extensive paperwork and costs needed to divorce your spouse is exhausting. However, you can make the divorce process a little less hard if you are the first person to file.

The Law Office of Shannon A. Jones can help you decide if this is the right option for you. We have over 20 years of experience helping clients just like you resolve difficult circumstances like divorce and achieve the best possible outcome. With the Law Office of Shannon A. Jones, you can rest easier knowing that we’ll take care of every detail and make sure nothing is overlooked.

If you are considering filing for divorce, contact the Law Office of Shannon A. Jones today and learn more about your legal options. Call us at 901-390-9041 or contact us online to get the honest legal support you need and deserve.

Are There Financial Benefits to Filing for Divorce First?

It’s understandable that you might be hesitant to file for divorce, but there can be negative financial consequences if you wait too long. If you file for divorce before your spouse does, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that you are financially prepared for the divorce process before you file.

Per Tennessee law, a mandatory injunction goes into effect on both parties as soon as the Complaint for Divorce is filed. There is no waiting period in Tennessee, so either spouse can file for divorce at any time as long as they have lived in the state for at least six months. This means that after the complaint for divorce is filed, the law prevents both you and your spouse from making any major changes that would affect property, financial accounts, or your children.

After a divorce complaint is filed, neither party can spend, transfer, conceal, or withdraw money from joint financial accounts, except to maintain ordinary living costs. The law also keeps both spouses from modifying or cancelling insurance policies, including for healthcare, residences owned or rented, cars, life, or disability. Additionally, the injunction restrains both parties from hiding or destroying any evidence that might be relevant to the divorce settlement.

What Are The Legal Benefits Of Filing For Divorce First?

The spouse who files for divorce first often has control over many important aspects of the divorce proceeding. By filing for divorce first, you can decide where the divorce will be litigated, which is especially important if you and your spouse no longer live in the same area. Filing first also gives you the opportunity to present your side of the case first if the case goes to trial.

As soon as you file for divorce, a number of restrictions are imposed on your spouse. A Complaint for Divorce prompts a mandatory injunction under Tennessee law. The injunction prevents your spouse from relocating your children by more than 50 miles or out of state without your permission. This law also restrains both spouses from making disparaging remarks about each other in front of their children or employers and also prohibits threats, harassment, and assault against each other.

Lastly, only the spouse who files the initial Complaint for Divorce is allowed to dismiss the complaint. If you decide you want to reconcile, you can choose to have your divorce case dismissed, as long as your spouse hasn’t yet filed a counter-complaint.

What If My Spouse Won’t Agree To A Divorce?

Tennessee law allows for two types of divorce:

  • Uncontested, where both parties agree to a no-fault proceeding

  • Contested, where the spouses can’t agree on divorce terms

Even if your spouse won’t agree to a divorce, you can still file under Tennessee law if you can prove grounds for divorce. Some common reasons used to demonstrate grounds for divorce include:

  • Adultery

  • Abandonment or neglect

  • Abuse, threats, attempt to murder the spouse, or other cruel or inhumane treatment

  • Imprisonment for a felony

  • Habitual abuse of drugs or alcohol that started after the marriage

  • Living apart for two years or a refusal to relocate to Tennessee after the marriage

  • Pregnancy by another man that wasn’t disclosed before the marriage began

  • Bigamy, or knowingly entering a marriage while still married to someone else

  • Impotency or lack of capacity to procreate

Do I Need A Lawyer in A Tennessee Divorce?

Divorces are traumatic and might permanently impact your finances and parental rights. Hiring an attorney to handle your divorce can help you get the best possible outcome. If you try to negotiate your divorce decree on your own, you might lose valuable time with your children or end up having to pay much more in alimony than is fair.

An experienced divorce lawyer can help you fight for the most favorable terms in your divorce decree. They can help you gather evidence to prove the grounds for divorce and to determine alimony.

Overlooking important details when you file or argue your case can be very costly because parental rights, alimony, and child support depend on numerous factors, including each spouse’s financial resources and earning capacity. A skilled Tennessee divorce attorney can help ensure that nothing is overlooked, can prepare and file all necessary paperwork, and can fight for your legal rights.

Get Your Free Consultation Today

Dissolving a marriage is not something anyone takes lightly, but it can be a necessary step when the marriage has fallen apart. Don’t let your spouse get the upper hand by filing for divorce first. Take the first step and contact the Law Office of Shannon A. Jones to schedule a free consultation. Call us today at 901-390-9041 or fill out an online contact form.