Tennessee Divorce Residency Requirements

Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on September 15, 2022

Some couples may realize shortly after getting married that getting divorced is the best option, while others may be married for years before they decide divorce is necessary. You might think that when you feel ready to divorce your spouse, you’re able to do so. However, in many states, including Tennessee, this isn’t necessarily true.

You might meet certain Tennessee divorce residency requirements to file for a divorce in the state. Knowing where you need to file for divorce can sometimes be complicated. The divorce attorneys of Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC can help answer your questions about filing for divorce in Tennessee.

How Long Must You Live in Tennessee To File for Divorce?

If you were married in Tennessee or have recently moved here, you might assume that this is the state you’re supposed to file for divorce in. However, this isn’t always the case. According to TN Code § 36-4-104, you can file for divorce in Tennessee in the following situations:

  • The acts complained of were committed while the plaintiff was a bona fide resident of Tennessee.
  • The acts complained of were committed outside of Tennessee and the plaintiff resided out of the state at the time, if the plaintiff or the defendant has resided in this state six months next preceding the filing of the complaint.

Additionally, a member of the armed services living in Tennessee for at least one year, or their spouse, may be considered a resident of the state.

Because of this, you might currently reside in Tennessee, but don’t meet the qualifications to file for divorce in this state. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help ensure that you understand what state or county you’re eligible to file for divorce in.

Are There Exceptions to Tennessee’s Residency Requirements?

In some cases, there may be exceptions to Tennessee’s residency requirements for filing for divorce. When domestic violence or abuse is involved, you may have an exception to the state’s residency requirements.

How Soon Can You Get Divorced After Filing?

Even if you meet Tennessee’s residency requirements, getting a divorce isn’t immediate. As many know, getting a divorce can often be a lengthy process. Of course, some are much more complicated than others, so the length of time before the divorce is finalized can vary significantly.

Regardless of how complicated your divorce is or whether it’s contested or uncontested, there is a certain amount of time you’ll need to wait. After you file your divorce petition, Tennessee has a waiting period. For couples without minor children, this period is 60 days. For couples with minor children, this period is 90 days.

Experienced Tennessee Divorce Lawyers

If you’ve recently moved to Tennessee, you might be wondering where you’re supposed to file for divorce. Likewise, you may have many questions about Tennessee divorce laws. You don’t want to take any chances, which is why you should work with Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC.

Contact our seasoned Tennessee divorce lawyers for assistance today.

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