7417 Kingston Pike Suite 204
Knoxville, TN 37919



In a contested divorce, the spouses cannot agree on the terms of their divorce. Contested divorces are characterized by disagreement, whether it is over the family house or retirement funds.

Fortunately, this is a normal situation to be in – couples often-times don’t agree on what they think is fair when splitting up-and, just because you disagree doesn’t mean that your divorce will have to be bad.

What You Need To Know About A Contested Divorce In Tennessee

What is a Contested Divorce?

To begin with, a contested divorce is exactly what it sounds like: a contentious one.

These disagreements can come in a variety of ways, but often include disputes over: 

  • Grounds for divorce
  • How to divide child(ren) custody
  • How to divide assets and marital Property
  • Whether or not there will be any alimony / spousal maintenance
  • Who will get the house 

When a couple runs into problems that they cannot resolve on their own, they must seek outside assistance in order to finalize a divorce.

Divorce help comes in a few different divorce options for people to choose from – these are the different type of contested divorces in Tennessee.

Often when people hear contested divorce – they automatically assume that we are talking about divorce litigation. While this is sometimes true, it is often-times not true, and the reality is that divorce trials are quite infrequent.

Getting divorced does not mean that you actually need to physically go to court and appear before a judge. While you’ll certainly need judicial approval to finalize a divorce—even the most contested divorces, are often-times resolved outside of court.

In Tennessee, there are three types of contested divorces:

Collaborative Divorce – a collaborative divorce is similar to mediation, in that it is a series of out of court negotiations that attempt to settle matters without a judge. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse is required to have an attorney present and must abide by the terms of their collaborative divorce agreement.

Divorce Mediation – is an out of court negotiation process that takes place with a licensed, third-party individual known as a mediator. This person’s job is to help the couple reach a settlement without going to trial, and while attorneys are normally present, they are not required. Mediation is a fast, efficient, and inexpensive way for couples to solve their divorce disagreements.

Divorce Trial – despite all party’s best efforts alternative methods of dispute resolution do not always work. At this point the only option left is to go to court for a divorce trial before a judge. In a divorce trial, the individual spouses lose most of their control over determining the outcome of their issues. Instead, an impartial judge will have the ultimate authority to make decisions about custody, property, and spousal maintenance. These decisions will be final enforceable under Tennessee law.

Most Knoxville divorce attorneys recommend avoiding this course of action whenever possible as litigation is costly, time-consuming, and the most emotionally toxic type of divorce.

Questions About A Contested Divorce in Tennessee?

If you have more questions about a contested divorce in Tennessee—please contact our law offices for help. We work hard to help you understand all of your options during a divorce, and which divorce path will be best for you and your family based on your individual goals and circumstances.


How to find us?


7417 Kingston Pike Suite 204
Knoxville, TN 37919

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