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Grounds for divorce in Tennessee

Divorce is always difficult, whether a contested process requiring mediation or a smooth, amicable arrangement. Although there are some simplified procedures, Tennessee law contains several details that can affect how and why a divorce is granted by the court.

A court must first be convinced that it has the jurisdiction to act to dissolve a marriage. It will not act or nullify a ruling if it discovers otherwise.

The spouse filing for divorce, known as the petitioner, must have been a resident of Tennessee when the grounds for divorce took place. If grounds for divorce took place out of state, the petitioner must have been a a resident of Tennessee for at least six months before filing.

The two main groups of Tennessee divorce filings are no-fault and fault. Fault is often used if one spouse can be proven to have violated duties of marriage.

No-fault divorces can be granted due to irreconcilable differences on the agreement of both spouses, or if they have lived separately for at least two years and have no children.

Faults for divorces include adultery, conviction of a felony, alcoholism or drug addiction, endangering a spouse's life or refusing to move with a spouse to Tennessee.

Legal representation is often a helpful part of filing for divorce. Nearly all dissolutions of marriage involve legal division of property and assets, or the execution of prenuptial agreements.

Fault divorces increase the need for an experienced attorney. Equitable arrangements are especially important if child support or visitation plans are an essential part of the divorce.

Source: Divorce Source, "Tennessee Divorce Laws," accessed Aug. 24, 2017

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