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Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

If you find that your marriage does not resemble the “happily ever after” that you had envisioned and you are considering divorce, the next question is whether you have grounds for a divorce in the state of Tennessee. Each state has its own laws regarding divorce as well as the requirements that must be met.

Tennessee residency is required

You must meet Tennessee’s residency requirements before filing for a divorce in the state. The spouse that files for the divorce must be a Tennessee resident at the time the grounds for divorce occurred. If the grounds for divorce did not take place in Tennessee, then one spouse must be a resident for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

The divorce process

The first step in the divorce process is to file a petition for divorce with the court, which are the legal documents necessary to dissolve your marriage. In this petition, you will ask for a divorce, stating the reasons – the grounds – for wanting to end your marriage. The state of Tennessee is considered a mixed state, meaning that it allows both “fault” and “no-fault” grounds as the basis for filing for divorce, or the divorce can be based on a legal separation of at least two years.

“No-fault” grounds for divorce in Tennessee

Sometimes marriages just don’t work out. In a “no-fault” divorce, you and your spouse are not required to show any wrongdoing on the part of your spouse. Like all states, in Tennessee, you can divorce based on the no-fault grounds of “irreconcilable differences”, with no chance for any reconciliation in the future. In Tennessee, couples may also divorce on the ground of separation, providing that you can demonstrate that:

  • You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for an uninterrupted period of two or more years
  • You and your spouse have not cohabited as husband and wife during the two-year period
  • You and your spouse have no minor children

“Fault” grounds for divorce in Tennessee

If you wish to divorce your spouse, you may file for a divorce on fault grounds. This means that you assert that your spouse’s bad conduct led to the divorce. In Tennessee, fault grounds include the following:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Impotence
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Malicious or willful desertion for a period of one year
  • A felony conviction and a prison sentence
  • Attempted murder of the spouse
  • Cruel and inhumane treatment

Most divorces are filed on no-fault grounds, however, proving fault in a divorce may provide greater property or support for the spouse without fault so that is a consideration for many.

Our Murfreesboro divorce lawyers compassionately guide you through the divorce process

Divorcing your spouse is a personal, emotional undertaking that touches upon your finances, property, assets, children, and other matters. Don’t try and navigate this process alone. The experienced Murfreesboro divorce lawyers at Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law are skilled, knowledgeable, and personally dedicated to making sure you achieve the best possible outcome in your divorce. Contact our office today at 615-890-1982 or online to schedule a confidential meeting to discuss your divorce.