He hears cases twice a week and recently many have sounded like Immaculate Madondo's, where who get's the debt is as big as who get's the furniture.
"The argument is he wants me to pay all the debt. All I want is to have the debt shared equally because it was a marriage we entered this together," said Madondo.
Judge Smith believes the reason is the economy.
"Instead of people fighting over assets and dividing the value of assets people are fighting over debt," said Smith.
It's not the only change either. Last year there were 89 fewer divorces in Davidson County.
Attorney Rob Turner says many couples can't sell their house and they can't afford to buy another on their own.
"I've got clients and prospective clients who come in and my advice has to be you need to wait until you get a divorce cause you can't afford it right now," said Turner.
That sometimes creates the unthinkable, couple's postponing divorce but still living together with one spouse sleeping upstairs and another sleeping downstairs.
"They may have moved on and in another relationship and they're just fine with it. They're just waiting for the day they can afford to get their divorce," said Turner.
Madando is still waiting for her divorce but for another reason.
Because both sides can't come to a mutual agreement on finances, Judge Smith has decided to hand it over to a judicial settlement conference.
It's a decision Madondo says she's starting to regret because it means the divorce she's been seeking since 2006 will take longer.
"I wish I had accepted what they was saying to get it over and done with because it's so painful back and forth," said Madondo.
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