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.

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