Tennessee residents and others may be able to divorce their spouses even if those individuals fail to sign the documents necessary to dissolve a marriage. Typically, if the spouse who is served with divorce paperwork fails to respond to it within 30 days, the divorce will be classified as uncontested. In some cases, a hearing will be scheduled to review the merits of a request to end a marriage. If that spouse who was served fails to appear at the hearing, the divorce will be granted.

There may be a variety of reasons why an individual won’t sign divorce paperwork. Sometimes, neglecting to sign divorce paperwork is an attempt to emotionally abuse the individual who is seeking to dissolve the marriage. Individuals who fear for their safety at any point during the divorce process are encouraged to seek a restraining order. A family law attorney may explain how to obtain such an order as well the potential benefits of obtaining one.

Individuals who want to end their marriages, generally, aren’t required to give a reason for doing so. This means that a divorce may be granted even if an individual isn’t being physically, emotionally or financially abused. Those who are thinking about getting a divorce may want to do so with the help of a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to take steps to assist an individual in obtaining a favorable settlement.

For instance, it may be possible to argue that a spouse who stayed at home to take care of a child should be entitled to alimony or a greater share of marital assets. It may also be possible to assert that the parent who stayed home to care for a son or daughter should obtain sole legal or physical custody of that child.