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If you got married in another state, can you get divorced in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | Family Law

You got married in Michigan a decade ago, and then promptly moved to Tennessee when your spouse got a job. You have lived there ever since. 

Now you want to get a divorce. Do you have to go back to Michigan to do it? Does your divorce have to happen in the same court system where you got married? Or can you stay in Tennessee and do it here?

You do not have to leave the state

In short, you can certainly get a divorce in Tennessee. It does not matter where you got married. People move constantly, and many of them split up in states that are hundreds (or even thousands) of miles from where they got married. 

At worst, you will have to check the residency requirements to see how long you need to live in the state prior to filing for divorce. You typically cannot just get a divorce immediately after moving, which is to keep people from “moving” simply to take advantage of the laws that they prefer in another state. In Tennessee, the residency requirement for a divorce is six months. Every state has its own regulations. In the above example, though, you’re well beyond the minimum for any of it. 

It is worth noting that you will be subject to local divorce laws as far as things like the division of marital property, child support amounts and other issues. This can be surprising for people who expected the divorce to go according to the rules of the state where they married. That’s just one reason that it’s important to know as much as you can about the legal steps required when splitting up.