By Jedidiah McKeehan

When people call me seeking a divorce often they will say something like, “I want to get divorced as quickly as possible, how long does it take?”  This question triggers one of the spiels I go into during my conversations about divorce and I will do my best to deliver an accurate recital of it here in this article.

In Tennessee, you cannot legally get divorced until 60 days after you file for divorce if you have no minor children, and 90 days if you do have minor children.  This is called the “cooling down,” period.  And the only chance you can divorce that quickly is if you and your spouse come to an agreement, because otherwise your trial date is usually a minimum of 6 to 8 months after you file for divorce.

So, if you file today, and you can reach an agreement with your spouse on who is getting what and where the children are living when, then we can get you divorced in just over 60 days (or 90 if they have minor children).

This distresses some people because they have finally been able to make the big decision to seek divorce and now they have to wait months to actually be divorced but the law is what it is.  I am very sorry for those people, but the law says what the law says

The specific language in Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-4-101(15)(b) states, “A complaint or petition for divorce on any ground for divorce listed in this section must have been on file for sixty (60) days before being heard if the parties have no unmarried child under eighteen (18) years of age, and must have been on file at least ninety (90) days before being heard if the parties have an unmarried child under eighteen (18) years of age.  The sixty-day or ninety-day period shall commence on the date the complaint or petition was filed.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including divorce, custody, criminal, personal injury, landlord-tenant, and estate planning. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.