In Tennessee, a divorce based on irreconcilable differences has special requirements that are not used in other types of divorces. Irreconcilable differences is often referred to as a no fault divorce; however, that is not an accurate term. This type of divorce is not truly a no-fault divorce, because it requires agreement by both parties.
Under this type of divorce, both parties must agree in writing on the custody and support of the children and for the distribution of property and assets. The parties agree to split the marital property and debts in a document known as a Marital Dissolution Agreement (MDA). Provisions for child custody, visitation, and child support are made in a document called a Permanent Parenting Plan. Both parties must be in agreement to the terms of these documents and the court must find that they are adequate and sufficient. The property settlement must be found to be an equitable distribution between the parties.
The basic special provisions that must be made are:
• A marital dissolution agreement
• A permanent parenting plan (if there are minor children)
• A mandatory waiting period after filing for divorce
• Agreement between the divorcing parties