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The ins and outs of a Tennessee divorce

Divorce is becoming more and more common in the United States among civilian and military personnel. However, those stationed in states they don't normally call home need to understand the specific requirements if divorce is the only option.

In Tennessee, a couple can file for divorce if they satisfy the residency requirement of six months. Tennessee is a no-fault divorce state, so there isn't a requirement for grounds. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the process will lack complications. This is especially true if the couple can't agree on all the terms of the divorce. In such cases, the divorce is considered to be contested. What is being contested can include the issues involving child custody, division of assets and alimony. Military couples also need to consider regulations that govern support to the non-military spouse while the divorce is in process.

Often, one of the most contentious issues in a divorce is the custody of children. Members of the military may find that the courts are prejudiced against them because they can be suddenly unavailable. Soldiers should create a detailed family care plan that proves to the court that being in the service isn't going to negatively affect the children's lives.

Divorce is generally difficult for any couple, but members of the military face special issues. They may not be considered state residents or their obligations to their branch of the armed services may require the member to move from Tennessee before all the issues in a contested divorce are settled. An attorney may be helpful in negotiating a settlement that is fair to both parties and allows everyone to move on to a new life.

Source: The Fort Campbell Courier, "Research data before divorce", Capt. M. Levin, January 09, 2014

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