Tennessee Divorce Laws 4

In: Tennessee

Divorce Law Basics in the State of Tennessee

Also See: Tennessee Marriage Laws

Statute: Tennessee State Divorce Code (Title 36, Chapter 4)

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Irreconcilable differences if there is no denial on this ground and the parties have submitted a signed marital dissolution agreement
  • Living separately without cohabitation for at least two years when there are no children

At-Fault Grounds:

  • Conviction of a felony and imprisonment
  • Alcoholism and drug addiction
  • Wife is pregnant by another at the time of marriage without husband’s knowledge
  • Willful desertion for one year
  • Bigamy
  • Endangering the life of the spouse
  • Conviction of an infamous crime
  • Refusing to move to Tennessee with a spouse and willfully absenting oneself from a new residence for two years
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment or unsafe and improper marital conduct
  • Indignities that make the spouse’s life intolerable
  • Abandonment, neglect or banning the spouse from the home

Residency: Plaintiff must be a resident of the state at the time the grounds for divorce took place or if they took place outside the state, one of the parties must be a resident for at least 6 months prior to filing.

Legal Separation Recognized? Yes. Alimony, property distribution and child support can be awarded and the decree of separation can be converted into a decree of divorce after two years.

Property Distribution: Tennessee relies on “equitable distribution” so the court will distribute the marital property “in an equitable manner if the parties can’t agree on their own. Separate property (property acquired prior to the marriage, as a gift or through inheritance) is not included in property distribution. Fault is not considered.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party at the discretion of the court. Fault is considered.


  • al

    my aunt in law and her husband just recently filled for a divorce, prior to the divorce he told her that her and the kids could have the house. now he wants the house. if it goes to court would the courts look at it for the kids sake and let her keep the house since she was awarded custody of the children. also can she still file adultry charges even thought a divorce has already been filed. or is that still legal in tennessee.

  • ssy

    Can I get a divorce without a property settlement right now.We have been seperated since august 8,2008

  • does a couple have to file a “Legal”Separation with the Courts to be considered “Legally Separated” or recognized as “Separated”? Can they live in the same home to be “Separated”..such as both parties-spouses are older, legally handicap-disabled and have no families to help each of them…. they do not sleep in same beds or rooms..and do not live in same home all the time…?

  • sharon

    i have been seperated for 15 years and he refuses to sign divorce papers what can i do to get a divorce?