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Divorce in Polk County
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Online Divorce in Polk County
Please note: Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Polk County, Tennessee, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
The fastest and easiest way of getting a divorce in Polk County, Tennessee, is filing an uncontested case. An uncontested dissolution implies that the spouses can reach an agreement on finances, property, child custody, and other significant matters of their separation without litigation, and, if the case is simple enough, even without a lawyer.
By not contesting the case, it allows for a variety of affordable alternative options for arranging the procedure, such as mediation, collaborative divorce, or online document preparation.
As a document preparation service, OnlineDivorce.com provides a straightforward, quick, and inexpensive way to avoid unnecessary costs and stress and fill out divorce papers in Polk County without even leaving home.
Based on the answers the customer provides via an online interview at the website (including necessary personal data, financial information, and unique circumstances of the case), OnlineDivorce.com drafts all of the necessary divorce paperwork. Using this service, the customer can be sure that the papers will be completed quickly and correctly, according to Tennessee state laws and regulations of Polk County. Within two days after completing the questionnaire, the printable petition and other papers are available via email. All that remains for the client to do is to print, sign, and file these forms with the proper court, following the given step-by-step instructions.
Thousands of couples in Polk County have already appreciated the advantages of obtaining a divorce with OnlineDivorce.com including a cheap price with no hidden fees, relevant forms, security, quick response, and qualified customer support.
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Our tools have helped over 500,000 people get a quick and stress-free divorce while saving money in the process.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Polk County
To file for divorce in Polk County, it is necessary to provide the court with one of the established grounds for divorce.
According to the Tennessee Code, Sec. 36.4.101, in Polk County, both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce are recognized by the Family Law. Fault grounds refer to the spouse's wrongdoing that caused an intent to divorce. Since the plaintiff must prove any of the fault-based grounds during the divorce trial, an average fault-based divorce in Polk County typically takes significant time.
In Tennessee, fault grounds for divorce are:
Conviction of an infamous crime or felony;
Alcohol or drug addiction;
Wife is pregnant by another at the time of marriage without the husband’s knowledge;
Willful desertion for one year;
Endangering the life of the spouse;
Abandonment or refusing/neglecting to provide when having the ability to do so
Cruelty and inhuman treatment;
Indignities that make the spouse’s life intolerable.
In contrast, when filing for a no-fault divorce in Polk County, neither spouse has to prove anything or defend themselves. No one is blamed for the breakup. No-fault grounds for divorce in Tennessee are:
Irreconcilable differences (to terminate the marriage under this ground, the spouses should reach an agreement about property division, child custody, and the way the other rights and liabilities should be shared.)
Living separately and without cohabitation for two years (and there are no minor children of the marriage.)
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In a divorce in Polk County with children involved, the Tennessee Supreme Court may award child custody to either parent or both of them unless the parents agreed on the child-related matters independently and out-of-court. In either case, the court needs to make sure that the custody arrangement is fair and reflects the child's best interest.
As in other states, two types of custody are recognized in Tennessee. Physical custody determines with whom the child lives (or spends a significant amount of time), and legal custody determines who has the authority to make crucial decisions concerning the child’s upbringing. Both of these custody orders may be shared by parents, or be awarded to one of them solely, in different combinations. For example, the court may award sole physical custody and joint legal custody at the same time.
Under Tennessee Code, Sec. 36.6.106, in a divorce with a child involved, the court considers the numerous factors to find a solution that would be right and fair in a particular divorce case:
the child's wishes or preferences as to custody provided that he or she is twelve years of age or older.;
the child's stability with regards to his/her current home, school, and community and whether or not a change will disrupt that stability;
the child's ability to adjust to his/her school, community, and home;
the parents' capability to provide for the child's reasonable needs such as education, food, shelter, and medical care;
the parent's parenting skills and willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other party;
any history of domestic violence, child abuse, negligence, or substance abuse;
the mental or physical health of the parties involved in the divorce proceeding.
the custodian's willingness to comply with a new custody arrangement or visitation schedule;
and any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
Additionally, if the court determines that one parent willfully abandoned the child for at least 18 months, that parent's role in the child's life, including visitation rights of a non-custodial parent, may be substantially limited.
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Rules for child support in Polk County
In a divorce in Polk County, Tennessee, child support is a payment typically made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent (the one who has physical custody), which must be spent on the child's needs.
For determining the amount of child support, the state of Tennessee follows the Income Shares Model, which is predicated on the concept that the child should receive maintenance at the same level that the child would have received had the parents remained married.
As stated in the Tennessee Code, Sec. 36.5, the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines take into account both parents' incomes as well as the time spent with the child by each parent, number of children, and some other factors. A proper amount of child support may be calculated for a particular family using the Child Support Calculator and Worksheet.
The purpose of child support is to cover such necessary expenses as food, clothing, health insurance, transportation, and in some cases extra-curricular activities, educational needs. Hospital or dental expenses may be added if it's determined as necessary and reasonable by the court.
Rules for spousal support in Polk County
In a divorce in Polk County, the court may oblige one of the spouses to pay alimony (called spousal maintenance in Tennessee) to the other if the second party is financially dependent for some justified reason or if it would make the divorce judgment more equitable.
According to the Tennessee Code, Sec. 36.5.121, an amount and duration of alimony payments are decided by the court on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the court weighs a lot of factors, including the length of the marriage, age, health and mental condition of the parties, any special needs of either spouse, their professional skills, earning capacity, incomes, the value of the owned property, grounds for divorce, etc. After considering all the relevant factors, Polk County courts may order one of three types of alimony:
Temporary alimony. This type of maintenance may be paid while a divorce is pending. It is needed to help the spouse with a lower income to cover unplanned expenses caused by the lawsuit.
Short-term alimony. Also called rehabilitative support, this type of maintenance helps the spouse who cannot support themselves to gain necessary professional skills and find appropriate well-paid employment as soon as possible.
Long-term alimony. This is a rare type of permanent alimony that may be ordered for long-term marriages (divorce cases after 10 years of marriage or more) for a spouse who has significant needs and can't earn enough by themselves.
Uncontested Polk County divorce with children
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Property division in Polk County
Under the Tennessee Code, Sec. 36.4.121, the state of Tennessee follows the principles of equitable distribution, meaning that in a dissolution of the marriage, all the marital property shall be divided between the spouses fairly, though not necessarily equally.
How the property is divided in a divorce in Polk County may be determined by either the court or the parties themselves. To divide assets on their own, the parties should sign a Marital Dissolution Agreement. To do this, they must not have minor children, and the wife must not be pregnant at the time of divorce.
Otherwise, a division of the property is the task of the court. In Tennessee, like in every equitable distribution state, judges do not split all the marital property 50/50 but consider each dissolution case separately and decide what proportions would be fair in a particular situation.
According to Sec. 36.4.121 of the Tennessee Code, lots of factors must be taken into account, including each party's contribution to the family welfare, the length of the marriage, retirement benefits of the spouses, and others.
Only the marital property is subject to division. Anything acquired before the marriage, anything gained in exchange for such property, as well as personal gifts and inheritances of each party, are considered as separate property that remains with the initial owner.
Mediation support in Polk County
When spouses apply for divorce in Polk County, they may resort to divorce mediation. Mediation is a non-competitive process, in which a neutral third party - the mediator - guides the spouses through the process of negotiation and looking for mutually beneficial solutions.
Although divorce mediation is generally a non-binding process, Tennessee law implies that, in most contested cases, mediation is required at least to make a temporary parenting plan (for the time while a divorce is pending). Thus, Polk County courts encourage the spouses to settle their differences out-of-court and to arrange as easy and amicable of a dissolution as possible.
For uncontested cases, mediation is not mandatory in Tennessee, but may still be used in some situations.
When child custody is at issue, the court may order one or both parents to attend a four-hour parenting class on the effects of divorce on children.
How to file for divorce in Polk County | Step-by-Step
Under the Tennessee Code, Sec. 36.4.104, to be eligible to get a divorce in Polk County, there are no specific residency requirements if the ground for divorce occurred while the plaintiff was a resident of the state. However, if the ground for divorce occurred out of state, at least one of the spouses must have been a resident of Tennessee for six months before filing for divorce in Polk County. Also, the petitioner should file the divorce papers with the Clerk of Court in the county where either spouse currently resides.
To start a do-it-yourself divorce process in Polk County, the plaintiff needs to prepare divorce forms with the help of the self-help section of the Tennessee Courts website or using OnlineDivorce.com.
Depending upon the local rules of each Tennessee county, the completed papers shall be filed with Circuit Court, Chancery Court, or General Sessions Court. Some legal forms may vary from county to county.
After the case is registered and a court filing fee is paid, the plaintiff should decide how to serve the other spouse with copies of all divorce papers. In Tennessee, process servers are not licensed, so the serving procedure can be accomplished by any person at least 18 years of age who is not a party to the action, or by mail. A copy of the Complaint and the Summons must be handed to the respondent, and the court must get proof of service. The server has to identify the person served and describe the manner of service. If the process is served by mail, the Summons, an Affidavit of the person making service, and the return receipt, must be provided to the clerk. If the location of the second party is unknown, the plaintiff can resort to service by publication and further qualify for a default divorce.
After the petition (Complaint) is filed along with the other forms, Tennessee Family Law requires a waiting period until the dissolution can be granted as a mandatory stage of the divorce procedure timeline. The waiting period is 60 days for couples without minor children, and 90 days if the spouses have children.
After the expiration of the waiting period, the date of the final court hearing can be scheduled. Typically both, or at least one of the spouses, must attend the hearing.
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Filing fees for divorce in Polk County
The court filing fee, which is between $205 and $280 in Tennessee, is mandatory for all cases. However, some couples who cannot afford to pay the fee at the time of the filing can fill out and give the Court Clerk the Request to Postpone Filing Fees.
How long will it take?
How long it takes to finalize a divorce in Polk County will depend on whether both parties agree on the central issues of their separation, as well as whether the spouses have minor children. Contested cases usually take much longer than uncontested cases. An average uncontested divorce in Polk County typically takes about two to six months, since the state of Tennessee requires a waiting period before the court can hear the final hearing.
Filing for divorce in Polk County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Polk County? How much a divorce will cost in Polk County depends on many factors. The cost of dissolution in Polk County starts with a court filing fee, but further expenses are hard to predict. There are many divorce options from DIY-divorce to traditional litigation as well as related services which help to arrange the process, like counseling, mediation, online divorce, etc. So it all depends on whether the spouses seek the help of legal representatives and whether they can negotiate and settle their disputes on their own.
How do you file for divorce in Polk County without a lawyer? In Polk County, the spouses can file for divorce by themselves without an attorney. If a divorce is uncontested and the case is quite simple, the parties may complete the forms without any assistance or use OnlineDivorce.com, following the provided step-by-step guidance through the process.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Polk County? Some of the most common divorce forms required to getting a divorce in Tennessee include:
Civil Case Cover Sheet
Complaint for Divorce
Affidavit of Service
Marital Dissolution Agreement
If the spouses have minor children, they also have to file the following forms:
Permanent Parenting Plan
Temporary Parenting Plan
Parenting Class Certificate
Along with it, plenty of additional legal forms may be required, depending on the case circumstances.
Can I file for legal separation in Polk County, Tennessee? Yes, the state of Tennessee permits married couples to file for legal separation instead of dissolution. In a legal separation, the parties allocate the property, rights, and liabilities in a similar way as in dissolution procedure, but remain married in the eyes of the law. When a legal separation agreement is in place, either spouse may use it to terminate the marriage.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? In Tennessee, neither spouse can remarry until after the divorce has been final for 30 days. These 30 days constitute the allowed appeal period.
Divorce in Polk County online
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We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
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We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
Divorce Courts in Polk County, Tennessee
Polk County Circuit Court
Andrew Mark Freiberg, Larry H. Puckett, J. Michael Sharp, Sandra N.C. Donaghy, Billy D. Baliles, David Calfee, Laura M. Crawford
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
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outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
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