I have already filed for divorce in Tennessee and I have no monies for a lawyer. My spouse does not agree. How do I find help?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Martin, TN

I filed in Oct. 2012 paid filing fee and my spouse agreed that we should divorce. Now he has changed his mind. Our children are adults, there is no property to divide, we have tried counseling and I can't afford lawyer fees. Is there anyway for me to get out of this marriage?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Jill Zerfoss Grim

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you have grounds for divorce other than irreconcilable differences, you can provide evidence to the court on other grounds, usually through two other witnesses, and be granted a divorce. If you only alleged irreconcilable differences in the divorce complaint, you will need to amend it to allege the other ground (i.e., inappropriate marital conduct, separation for two years, adultery, etc.) Try contacting Legal Aid to see if they can help you, or perhaps you can find a lawyer to finish up the process for you at a reasonable fee.

  2. Burnley Nathan Hunt

    Contributor Level 8

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Contact the Legal Aid Department in your area.

  3. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Contact the local bar association and the local law schools and see if they have pro Bono programs.

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  4. Peggy Margaret Raddatz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It may not be very difficult to conclude the matter. Go on the court's website in the county that you filed your case in and/or go to the courthouse. There should be some help available for pro se litigants who do not have lawyers. Have you served him the divorce papers? If so you may be able to simply give him notice of a default hearing andgo to court and ask that he be held in default. If there is no pro[erty then the paperwork is minimal. There is help out there for you if you seek it. I suggest you don't drop the ball and make every attempt to get this wrapped up. Ther are pro bono services available also. The local bar association should be able to help you. Look up legal aid online or in the phone book for your local area. You got your case this far and you can get it finished! Good luck to you!

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  5. Trudy Lynn Bloodworth

    Contributor Level 8

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You need to file a motion for default and to set because your spouse has not filed an answer to your complaint and has not participated in the divorce proceedings. Once that is done, you can represent yourself or hire an attorney to help you proceed to a final hearing.

  6. Ann Frances Breau Karpenski

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with counsels answers, adding that when you check with the court clerk, inquire as to whether there are any mediation/family services available for pro se litigants. Best of Luck.

  7. Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . You have a right to represent yourself if you truly are unable to retain an attorney, however you will be held to the same standard as an attorney in terms of following the rules of procedure and evidence. I would strongly advise you to at least speak to a lawyer in your area. Many people assume that they cannot afford to talk to an attorney. Some attorneys will provide a free or low cost initial consultation. I would strongly suggest you take advantage of a consultation before going it alone.

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