Unfortunately, the length of time it takes to get divorced in Tennessee can vary greatly, depending on the circumstances of the parties, the complexity of the case, and even the schedule of the court in which the case is filed.

Each spouse should be aware of how long it could take to proceed with their divorce so that they can plan accordingly. Be educated and prepared to do all you can to keep the case moving forward.

Nashville-based Herbert and Lux know just how emotionally draining dealing with a divorce can be. Our team can help provide the legal support and guidance you need during this often difficult time. We’ll be there for you every step of the way, fighting for your rights and advocating for a favorable outcome given the circumstances.

What Affects the Length of a Divorce in Nashville?

Tennessee law requires a mandatory waiting period, beginning when the complaint for divorce is filed, before a divorce can be granted for any reason. In cases where the parties have no children, the waiting period is sixty (60) days, and in cases with children the waiting period is ninety (90) days. Some call this a ‘cooling off period’ in case the parties are able to resolve their differences and reconcile their marriage. This waiting period cannot be waived.

Some issues that may affect the length of a divorce include:


  • Children
  • Assets
  • Jurisdiction
  • Litigation
  • Location of Spouses   

If the parties do not agree on all aspects of the divorce, or the estate and assets are complex, the case may take longer. The lawyers at Herbert and Lux can help keep your case moving along. It is easy for hang-ups to occur, especially if both parties are not in agreement. Legal representation will help with negotiations, discovery, and mediation while avoiding litigation whenever possible.

Service on the Spouse

Once the divorce complaint is filed with the Court a copy of the complaint, a notice of the mandatory statutory injunctions, and a summons must be served on the other spouse. This usually means that the spouse must be located and personally given the divorce papers. Usually, the papers are delivered by a private process server or deputy sheriff. Once the defendant spouse is served, they generally have 30 days to answer the allegations.

Jurisdiction and Residency in Tennessee

Before investing time, money, and resources in filing a complaint for divorce in Tennessee you should make sure that your divorce can be filed in the courts of the state of Tennessee and in what court, county, or venue it must be filed. The law generally requires that one or both parties be residents of Tennessee for at least six (6) months before filing a complaint for divorce. The complaint must also be filed in the proper venue having divorce jurisdiction over the parties and the matter.

Are you unsure if you meet the requirements to file in Tennessee? Herbert and Lux offer a free consultation. They will look at your circumstances and help determine if you can/should file in Tennessee and where. Each circumstance is a little different, and legal help is always recommended.

When Divorce Involves Children

A divorce may also take longer when you have children involved. The state of Tennessee also has to have proper jurisdiction over any children involved in the case. This usually means the children must live in Tennessee for at least the past six months. Trying to determine a child’s home state can be complicated and it may require additional time or even court hearings to determine whether the divorce court has proper jurisdiction over the children.

When a divorce involves children, both parents will be required to attend a court-approved parenting class. The course will cover the impact of divorce on the child as well as how custody can affect a child. Both parents will need a certificate of completion in order to go ahead with a divorce. The court will also order mediation if the parties are unable to reach an agreement between themselves. This is to encourage spouses to resolve parenting issues. Mediation may take several sessions, especially if there are major custody conflicts.

What Herbert and Lux Can do for You

A divorce trial can take as little as one day or it can stretch out over a period of months. It all depends on the circumstances of your individual case, how many witnesses may be involved, and how complex the issues are. It doesn’t matter if your case is simple or complex, you will want the best legal representation on your side. Contact Herbert and Lux today and get the representation you deserve.