GETTING STARTED: AGREED DIVORCE QUESTIONNAIRE
AGREED DIVORCE QUESTIONNAIRE
1. Begin by filling out the questionnaire that can be found in the form bank. Be sure to fill out the questionnaire completely and correctly because this is the information that will be used to prepare the legal documents for your divorce. For your property and debt agreement, write out exactly who will have what property and who will be responsible for what debts. Note that you will be agreeing that the parties fairly and equitably divided up their marital estate.
2. Assets – Please note that, unless owned prior to the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance, the assets obtained during your marriage are usually “marital property” under the law. This may be true even if your name is the only name on the title. Until the court finalizes your divorce, any property owned by you or your spouse remains marital property. Therefore, even though our divorce packets contain general asset transfer language, it is important that all property that is titled (cars, trailers, homes, etc.) be listed specifically in the questionnaire.
3. Debts – Please remember that this is an agreement between you and your spouse and is not legally binding on your creditors. If both spouses are listed on the debt (for example, credit cards, automobiles, houses, etc.), both of you will still be liable to the creditor regardless of your divorce agreement. If the spouse responsible for the debt stops paying it, the other spouse has the right to seek to enforce the divorce agreement against the other spouse but the creditor may seek to enforce the debt against either party.
4. Court Orders – You must advise Mr. Owen if you or your spouse have ever been subject to any child support, visitation or child custody court order. Note that failure to disclose that you or your spouse have been subject to a court order for child support, visitation or child custody is also a breach of any representation agreement and will terminate any representation of you.
PERMANENT PARENT PLAN
1. If you have minor children from this marriage, begin by filling out the parenting plan questionnaire that can be found in the form bank. Be sure that the Parenting Plan questionnaire is accurate and complete. The Parenting Plan covers all the main issues regarding any children once the divorce is finalized. Please note that child support is statutory and cannot be negotiated by the parents. Parents cannot relieve themselves of a commitment to pay child support even if both parents agree! Unless the parents can special circumstances (such as equal income and visitation between the parents, disability, etc.), the Court will defer to the basic child support obligation in the statutes. The more equality between the parents’ living situation, the more inclined the Court will be to allow a downward departure from the basic child support obligation. The new child support guidelines mandate that parties complete a calculation form and attach it to the Parenting Plan. The calculated amount from the form requires child support to be paid by one parent to the other parent. Because of the complexity of this form, if we accept representation, our office will fill it out for you using the information you supply on the enclosed Child Support Worksheet
- Complete the Engagement Agreement found in the form bank.
- Contact the office to make arrangements to have the completed forms sent to the firm along with the required fees and costs.
- Once we have received all of the completed forms, our office will contact you and advise you whether we will accept representation or not. PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION IS PROVIDED IN THE QUESTIONNAIRE.
- Once representation is accepted, we will prepare the required documents based upon the information that you provided us. Once completed, you and your spouse may come to our offices, at the same or different times, to review and sign the documents or we will send you the documents at your request and you may make arrangements on your own to sign them. Once the signed documents are received by us we will file them with the court. At the end of the statutory period, we will forward the final order to the court for the judge’s signature. Your divorce will be final once the judge has signed the final order. The court will send you a copy of the order once it is signed.
If you have minor children, both parents must attend parenting classes. For information regarding acceptable parenting classes for Knox County Fourth Circuit Court, please contact the Clerk’s office at 865-215-2404. If either party does not complete the parenting classes, the Court may order the non-attending parent to complete the parenting classes and may prohibit any future modifications to child support, visitation or custody orders in the future until this requirement is met. If the non-attending parent does not follow the Court’s order, that parent can be held in contempt and could potentially be incarcerated. https://www.knoxcounty.org/fourthcircuitcourt/pdfs/PES_classes_handout.pdf
Be aware that, if you or your spouse have health insurance, you or your spouse may be entitled to COBRA coverage. You have 60 days from the date that your divorce is granted to notify the health insurance carrier to obtain COBRA coverage or the entitlement will be lost. COBRA coverage usually requires that the person covered pay the monthly premium cost.