Something that we family lawyers hear a lot from potential and new clients is that they’re sure their divorce will be uncontested. And, considering that a vast majority of all divorces eventually settle rather than go to trial, most of them are right, it will be uncontested in the end. But just to be clear, let’s talk about it what does not make an uncontested divorce:
“We both want a divorce, so it’ll be uncontested.”
“She said she would sign whatever I bring her.”
“We agree to almost everything.”
In Tennessee, to be divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and have an uncontested divorce, means you must agree to everything. Everything in the Marital Dissolution Agreement (including who gets the house, cars, bank accounts, retirement accounts, art on the walls, the dishes in the cabinet, the waffle maker, the dog, and the big screen TV). Everything in the parenting plan, if you have kids. EVERYTHING. If there is even one issue about which the two parties cannot reach an agreement, you do NOT have an uncontested divorce. It also means both parties must cooperate in executing the necessary documents. If you don’t have a complete agreement, you have a contested divorce until an agreement is reached.