Attorneys You Can Trust With Your Legal Separation

At Vance Law Office, PLLC, we can help you navigate legal separation in the state of Tennessee, standing up for your rights throughout the process. Legal separation, as opposed to divorce, may be the better option for you for several reasons. Religious convictions regarding divorce or an ongoing need for health insurance provided by your spouse are two of the most common reasons you may consider a legal separation instead of divorce.

We are here for you to provide sound, practical legal advice and legal representation as you work to get your life to a more settled, harmonious place.

What We Do as Your Legal Separation Attorneys

  • Initial consultation to learn about your unique situation and determine if legal separation is the right choice.
  • Assist in preparing all necessary legal documents, including a separation agreement if you and your spouse agree on terms.
  • File the legal separation paperwork with the appropriate court.
  • Negotiate and facilitate the division of marital property, assets, and debts.
  • Address child custody and visitation arrangements, as well as child support calculations following Tennessee guidelines.
  • Evaluate the need for and assist in negotiating spousal support (alimony) if applicable.
  • Represent your interests in negotiations and mediation sessions to resolve disputes amicably whenever possible.
  • Guide you through the legal separation process if it involves court proceedings, ensuring proper representation and advocacy.
  • Provide ongoing legal advice, support, and representation throughout the legal separation process, safeguarding your rights and interests.

Ask An Attorney About: Legal Separation

What is legal separation in Tennessee? How is it different from divorce?

Legal separation allows couples to live separately, but remain legally married. This can be useful for sharing assets or insurance while living separate lives. The process is the same as a divorce, from paperwork to waiting periods (60 days for no minor unmarried children, 90 days if there are minor unmarried children), and a court may even participate in determining fair terms if both spouses cannot agree on the terms of the legal separation.

A legal separation agreement can be created and signed to allow couples to decide what happens to assets, children, etc. during the period of legal separation. This is legally binding, and can be enforced through the court if a spouse violates the agreement. Each member of the couple can then live as if they were single in most ways. Legally separated couples cannot remarry, however, unless they complete a divorce first.

Divorce ends a marriage legally in the eyes of the state of Tennessee; all issues related to the marriage such as assets, child custody, alimony, etc will have been settled in the divorce process, and each former spouse can then remarry if they so choose.

Can I maintain health insurance coverage for my spouse during a legal separation?

Yes, you can maintain all coverages and tax benefits that would be available to a legally married couple when legally separated.

Is a legal separation reversible, or can it lead to divorce?

Yes, to both. You and your spouse, if you reconcile, can ask the court to terminate your legal separation. You can also choose to start the divorce process at any time after legal separation, and after two years of legal separation either spouse can ask the court to convert the legal separation to a no-fault divorce.

Can I date or remarry during a legal separation in Tennessee?

You can date, but may not remarry, during a legal separation.