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Brentwood Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Divorce > What are Tennessee’s Residency Requirements During Divorce?

What are Tennessee’s Residency Requirements During Divorce?


No two divorces are exactly alike, but the legal requirements remain the same in all cases. One of the laws most couples must comply with is the residency requirement. The law is in place to determine which jurisdiction one should file for divorce in. Contrary to what many people believe, you do not file in the state in which you were married but instead, where you currently live when you get divorced. If you do not meet the residency requirement, the court will dismiss your case and not dissolve your marriage.

What is the Residency Requirement in Brentwood? 

According to the Tennessee Code, one spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months before they can file for divorce. If the spouses live in the same county, that is where the divorce should be filed. If the spouses live in different counties, the divorce can be filed in a family court of either county. While the law seems fairly straightforward, it can become complex.

The Exception to the Residency Requirement 

While the residency requirement is strictly enforced, there is an exception. If a case involves domestic violence, neither spouse has to reside in the state for six months. For example, a couple may move to Tennessee while married. The victim of domestic violence could file for divorce in the state even if they do not meet the residency requirement.

The Residency Requirement for Military Spouses 

When one spouse is an active military member, it can make a divorce case more complex. When a member of the military has been stationed in the state for at least one year, they have met the residency requirement. However, if the other spouse can prove the military member is not a resident of the state, that law no longer applies. For example, if the civilian spouse showed the military member owned a house in another state, that could classify them as a non-resident in Tennessee.

Residency of a Minor 

Child custody issues are always some of the most challenging in any divorce case that involves children. The residency requirement becomes more complex in child custody cases when one parent lives in another state and the other resides in Tennessee. In these cases, the court will determine the child’s jurisdiction according to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Even if the parents have reached an agreement about the parenting plan, the court will still have to determine the child’s residence before proceeding with the child custody case.

Our Divorce Attorneys in Brentwood Provide Sound Legal Advice 

Regardless of the issues you are facing in your divorce, your case will still be governed by the laws of the state. At Beal, Nations & Crutcher, our Brentwood divorce attorneys can advise you of what those laws are and how they will impact the outcome of your case. We also always work hard to obtain the best possible results for our clients. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.



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