Tennessee Supreme Court Adopts Forms For Uncontested Divorce For Parties With Minor Children

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted a set of plain-language forms and instructions for use in uncontested divorces between parties with minor children in an effort to simplify divorce proceedings for parties that fall into that category.

The forms are approved by the Court as universally acceptable as legally sufficient for use in all Tennessee courts pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 52. The forms and instructions were submitted to the Court by the Access to Justice Commission.

The forms arose from the Commission’s responsibility under Supreme Court Rule 50 to develop initiatives and systemic changes to reduce barriers to access to justice and to meet the legal needs of persons whose legal needs may not be met by legal aid programs. Currently there are restrictions on the types of family law cases which may be handled by federally funded legal aid providers. 

The forms are designed for spouses who fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Agree on all the aspects of their divorce,  including child support

  • Have minor children together

  • Do not own any real property (land, house, etc.)

  • Do not have any retirement accounts

    The forms and instructions arose from a report by the Court’s Task Force to Study Self Represented Litigants, which included a recommendation for universal divorce forms for uncontested divorces. The Commission enlisted members of that Task Force to assist in developing the forms. Other volunteers were pulled from the Commission’s Self-Represented Litigants Advisory Committee to work on this project. The Commission solicited feedback from the private bar including the Tennessee Bar Association, court clerks, trial and general sessions judges, legal aid attorneys, and other access to justice stakeholders to create the best possible version of these forms and instructions.

    “The Commission deeply appreciates the many hours spent by dedicated volunteers on this project over the past three years,” said Marcy Eason, Chairperson of the Commission. “These forms and instructions are the result of the extraordinary focus and expertise of our community partners.”

    This packet of forms complements existing divorce forms and instructions for uncontested divorces when the parties do not have minor children, which the Court adopted in 2011. Numerous reports from judicial staff and other access to justice resources cite family law issues as one of the most prevalent legal matters experienced by low income Tennesseans. 

    “These forms and instructions will provide a much-needed resource to some of our most vulnerable citizens,” added Justice Cornelia Clark, Supreme Court liaison to the Commission.  “They are a way for those who don’t qualify for free legal help to access our court system and better understand the legal process for their divorce.” 

    The forms and instructions are written in a fifth- to eighth-grade reading level to help a wide range of Tennesseans.  They will go into effect on January 1, 2017, and will be available for free on the Administrative Office of the Courts website,TNCourts.gov, and the Court’s access to justice website, TNJusticeForAll.com.


SimplyBank Creates Directing Officer Corps With 5 Senior Officers

Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events April 12-16

Thousands Of Georgians Reapplying For UI Benefits Due To End Of Benefit Year


Growth at privately-held, Rhea County-based SimplyBank has organization leaders poised to make significant leaps into new markets and services this year. To help facilitate those expansions, ... (click for more)

April 12, ONLINE: Nokian Tyres: From Finland to Dayton Tennessee noon-1 p.m. This is a joint meeting with AGC, CRMA, Chattanooga Area Chamber's International Business Council and green|spaces. ... (click for more)

Although businesses are starting to return to full capacity as more individuals receive vaccinations, many Georgians are still out of work due to the pandemic. Last year at this time, almost ... (click for more)



Business

SimplyBank Creates Directing Officer Corps With 5 Senior Officers

Growth at privately-held, Rhea County-based SimplyBank has organization leaders poised to make significant leaps into new markets and services this year. To help facilitate those expansions, SimplyBank’s executive leadership elevated five existing senior officers to a newly-created directing officer corps this spring. The senior officers are Anthony Lastoria, Candace Colvard, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events April 12-16

April 12, ONLINE: Nokian Tyres: From Finland to Dayton Tennessee noon-1 p.m. This is a joint meeting with AGC, CRMA, Chattanooga Area Chamber's International Business Council and green|spaces. Nokian Tyres opened its Dayton, Tennessee production factory in 2019 after breaking ground two years prior. The Dayton Factory is one of the most high-tech, eco-friendly tire production ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Has No New COVID Deaths, 58 New Cases

Hamilton County had 58 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 43,100. There have been no more deaths from the virus, and the total remains at 480 in the county. Tennessee will report the state's new cases and deaths on Monday. (click for more)

Dequan Fuqua Gets 27-Month Federal Prison Term For Having Gun After Indictment For Attempted Murder

A Chattanooga man who was one of three men charged in connection with a July 4, 2016, shooting that left 31-year-old Natasha Jones with critical injuries has been sentenced to serve 27 months in federal prison on a gun charge. Dequan Kentrel Fuqua, 23, appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Fuqua had been arrested by federal agents on a charge of possessing a firearm while ... (click for more)

Opinion

The Migrant Children Should Be Welcomed With Open Arms

My greatest concern for the migrant children is they don't be mistreated or abused. Being separated from their families must be traumatic enough. They don't deserve the added trauma of being mistreated and abused. They should be welcomed with open arms. Don't worry about our own precious children. They'll get to be exposed to another language, another culture. Children ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Full Throttle’ Finish

Alabama football coach Bear Bryant had a pre-game ritual where just before a game, he’d take his quarterbacks on a short walk around the courthouse square in whatever town the Tide was playing. Bryant wouldn’t say much, and the players wouldn’t say a word unless they were called on. The first time Joe Namath took the fabled walk, he purposefully trailed Coach by a step or two. Bryant ... (click for more)