A few days ago, Forbes published an article called “The 7 Worst States To Get Divorced”.  The author, Bruce Provda, ranked states based on: cost of filing, minimum separation period, length of residency required, waiting period, and minimum number of days for entire procedure.

I’ll let you read the article for yourself, but if you’d like to compare, the basic requirements to get divorced in Tennessee are:

  • Filing fee:  Varies by county, but is generally between $150 to $300
  • Minimum separation period:  None.  You can get divorced while you’re still living together.
  • Length of residency:  Generally, you must be a resident for at least 6 months, but there are exceptions.
  • Waiting period: 60 days if there are no minor children, 90 days if the parties have minor children together.
  • Minimum number of days for entire procedure:  There is none, but I advise my clients that the fastest it could possibly be done is the waiting period plus a couple weeks to get the final order signed.


In addition, I have to take exception to the author’s assertion that “Divorce is never a pleasant experience, even under the most amicable of circumstances. In the antagonistic structure of divorce court, there is always a winner and a loser.”  While I understand his point, I think that gives an unnecessarily dim view of the process.  I’ve had many cases where we have dissolved a marriage on terms which were advantageous to both parties.  The process may not have been overly “pleasant”, but there also was no “winner” or “loser”.

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