Whether you're on the fence regarding filing for divorce or just want some more time to mull over how you'd like to proceed with dissolving your marriage, separation can have a number of benefits. Understanding the process for legal separation in Tennessee - including whether it's even an option to begin with - can help you get better results in your divorce.
To schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about how we can help with your divorce case, contact us online or give us a call at (731) 256-0023.
Can I Get a Legal Separation in TN?
You can! In fact, the process looks a lot like acquiring a divorce. One party (the petitioner) must file a petition for legal separation with the court. They can file for a no-fault separation (by simply citing an "irretrievable breakdown" in the marriage) or on fault-based grounds (alleging that a specific behavior such as adultery caused the marriage to crumble).
After filing for separation, spouses have 60 days if they don't share minor children - or 90 if they do - to negotiate the terms of their separation agreement. This can include determining how to handle property division, spousal support, and child support or custody while the parties are separated.
After the court approves and finalizes the separation, the parties are free to live on their own. They can create contracts as individuals, but are still legally married to each other. It's important to note that entering into a sexual relationship with someone other than your spouse can still be considered adultery in Tennessee, even if you're legally separated.
Why Would I Want to Get Legally Separated?
Legal separation has a number of benefits.
It allows spouses to take some time apart and decide whether they actually want to follow through with a divorce. This can be incredibly helpful for parties who are still on the fence regarding their divorce.
Legal separation can also help parties try out different arrangements for matters such as child custody and spousal support, enabling them to see what works for them before finalizing such arrangements with a divorce agreement (if they do decide to finalize their divorce).
Finally, separation can allow parties to still maintain some marital benefits, such as being able to utilize one spouse's employer-provided healthcare, while living separately. This can help whichever spouse may lose access to healthcare in the event of a divorce put together a fallback plan.
Interested in legally separating from your spouse? We can help! Contact our office online or via phone at (731) 256-0023 to learn more about our services.