What Is an Agreed Divorce?

No one enters a marriage with the intention of one day facing divorce. It’s a significant life event that can be emotionally challenging and complex to navigate. However, as you learn more about the intricacies of divorce proceedings, the path forward becomes clearer. You’ll come out with a better understanding of the options and possibilities available to you as you go through this difficult life transition.

You are also not alone. Recent divorce statistics in the United States are a testament to the prevalence of divorce as a social phenomenon with nearly 40% of first marriages ending in divorce. Now let’s dive even deeper. According to Tennessee’s Department of Health, there were 22,359 divorces in the year 2020 alone, which gave the state a 3.2 divorce rate. When compared to other states, Tennessee comes out with one of the highest divorce rates in the United States. In Franklin, the process of divorce can be a challenging and emotionally taxing experience for everyone involved. However, there is a less intense path available, known as an agreed divorce.

How Tennessee defines an agreed divorce

An agreed divorce, also commonly referred to as an uncontested divorce, is a legal process in Tennessee where both spouses mutually agree to end their marriage without major disagreements or disputes. In essence, it signifies a cooperative approach to divorce, where the couple strives to resolve their differences amicably, often resulting in a smoother and more harmonious separation.

Who qualifies for an agreed divorce?

Qualifying for an agreed divorce in Tennessee typically requires both spouses to be on the same page regarding the key aspects of the divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of marital assets and debts. This cooperative approach is best suited for couples who can communicate effectively and are willing to work together to reach a fair and mutually acceptable settlement. An agreed divorce is especially beneficial when there is a desire to minimize conflict, reduce legal costs, and expedite the divorce process, making it an attractive option for couples looking to part ways with as little stress and acrimony as possible.

Other types of divorce

It’s important to remember that not all divorces are created equal. While divorce may sound like a one-size-fits-all ending of marriage, there are different types for different scenarios.

No-fault divorces

In many divorce cases, emotions can run high, and the blame game may become a significant point of contention. However, a no-fault divorce takes a different approach. In essence, a no-fault divorce allows couples to end their marriage without the need to assign blame or wrongdoing to either party. Instead of focusing on who is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage, this approach recognizes that sometimes relationships simply do not work out, and divorce is the most reasonable course of action. It aims to make the divorce process less adversarial, reducing conflict and tension between spouses.

An agreed divorce requires mutual agreement between spouses on all key divorce terms, while a no-fault divorce does not assign blame for the marriage breakdown but may not necessarily require complete agreement on all terms. While they both can result in a fast divorce process, they serve completely different purposes.

Fault divorces (grounds for divorce)

A fault divorce, in contrast to a no-fault divorce, is rooted in the idea of attributing blame or fault to one spouse for the dissolution of the marriage. It involves the assertion that one party’s actions or behaviors, such as adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or substance abuse, have led to the marriage’s breakdown. In essence, it is a legal process where one spouse accuses the other of wrongdoing, and the court may take this misconduct into account when determining issues like property division, alimony, and child custody. Fault divorces were historically more common but have become less prevalent in modern divorce proceedings due to the rise of no-fault and agreed divorce options.

Where an agreed divorce is characterized by mutual agreement between spouses on divorce terms, a fault divorce differs in that it assigns blame to one spouse for the marriage breakdown based on specific misconduct.

Benefits of an agreed divorce in Franklin

Agreed divorces offer several advantages that can make the entire process smoother and less stressful for both spouses. Here are some of the main benefits if you decide to file for divorce:

  • Cost-effectiveness. Agreed divorces significantly contribute to cost-effectiveness by reducing legal fees and ensuring that your assets are safeguarded to provide stability in the aftermath of divorce, ultimately benefiting your financial well-being.
  • Time-efficiency. The swift resolution in agreed divorces not only spares you from a lengthy, emotionally taxing divorce process but also provides you with the opportunity to move forward and rebuild your life more promptly, minimizing the disruption caused by a protracted legal battle.
  • Less emotional stress. Collaboration minimizes turmoil, creating a calmer family environment.
  • Control over outcomes. You have the unique advantage of tailoring divorce terms to your specific situation, allowing you to have a more direct say in the decisions that will shape your future, as opposed to having these critical choices determined by a judge.
  • Preserves co-parenting. For parents, it fosters amicable co-parenting, benefiting children.
  • Reduced post-divorce conflict. Agreement lowers chances of future disputes and improves communication.
  • Enhanced well-being. By promoting a more peaceful and cooperative atmosphere, agreed divorces significantly contribute to the emotional and mental well-being of both spouses, offering a valuable opportunity for a fresh start marked by positivity and emotional health as you transition into your new, separate lives.

While filing for an agreed divorce in Franklin can be a relatively straightforward process when both parties are aligned, it’s still important to ensure you navigate it correctly. Seeking guidance from experienced professionals is highly recommended throughout the process. The Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates is here to help. Our dedicated team specializes in divorce cases and can help you achieve the best possible outcome. To schedule a consultation, call us or fill out our contact form. We proudly serve families in Franklin, Brentwood, Columbia, and throughout Middle Tennessee.