If you and your spouse are separating, you’re probably curious about the grounds for divorce in Tennessee. While divorces are divided simply into “fault” and “no-fault,” things can get a lot more complicated after that, particularly with fault divorces.

If you’re considering divorce, a skilled lawyer is essential. Though separations are stressful and trying, a divorce attorney can help you feel hopeful and empowered about stepping into the next stage of your life. They can also help ensure a divorce doesn’t drag on, offering clear, sound guidance in a tumultuous time. 

No-Fault Divorce in Tennessee

Like many U.S. states, Tennessee allows “no-fault” divorce. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “irreconcilable differences,” that simply means the divorce is “no-fault” or not meeting traditional at-fault grounds. Both parties must agree to a no-fault divorce, and it’s the easiest route to take. 

However, if both spouses cannot reach an agreement or don’t declare “irreconcilable differences,” grounds for divorce must be proven in a court of law. These are “fault” divorces, and in these instances, divorce attorneys are responsible for effectively proving fault. 

Fault Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

If you and your spouse are unable to agree to a no-fault divorce, don’t worry. An experienced divorce attorney can help guide you through the process of proving fault. Below are the instances where you are legally able to divorce your spouse based on their behavior: 

  • Felony conviction
  • Impotence and the incapability of procreation
  • Abandonment/desertion on the part of either spouse
  • Adultery on the part of either spouse
  • Bigamy (engaging in a marriage ceremony while already married)
  • Attempted murder of the other spouse
  • Cruel and inhumane treatment
  • Habitual drug and alcohol abuse

Many people wonder if emotional affairs are categorized as adultery. Unfortunately, though they can have a devastating effect on a marriage, emotional and romantic attachments do not fall under the category of adultery. However, a divorce attorney can go over all the details of your circumstances to help you understand if there are other violations.

Proving Fault in Tennessee

In a divorce, proving fault is the process of gathering evidence against your spouse. At Mandy Hancock Law, we understand that this is a process no one enjoys and that it can be incredibly painful. That’s why we do everything we can to help you feel supported and empowered through every stage of your divorce. 

Evidence of fault might include eyewitness accounts of behavior like infidelity, physical or emotional abuse, or substance abuse. It could also include documents that help prove an affair, including expenses such as gifts, vacations, or hotel stays. 

How Does Adultery Affect Property Division and Child Support?

In some states, if a judge finds the evidence compelling, adultery can affect their ruling on property division. The reasoning here is that the adulterous spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage, and they should be held accountable. In Tennessee, however, adultery does not affect property division.

Where adultery can come into play is with child custody and even spousal support. It depends on the unique details of your situation, but affairs can sometimes suggest that the child is not the parent’s top priority. Similarly, adultery can affect alimony: A spouse who could have otherwise qualified could be denied due to their affair. 

What Services Does a Knoxville Divorce Attorney Offer?

As you’re probably learning, divorce can be very complex. You might wonder how you’ll afford to live on your own or support your children, who gets the house, and how custody will play out. A caring Knoxville family law attorney can help guide you every step of the way, starting with making sure you know your rights. 

Our family law attorneys can help with the following:

Whatever your case’s legal, financial, and emotional circumstances, the dedicated team at Mandy Hancock Law is here to strategize a creative and savvy solution that protects your rights. No matter how complex your assets, property, and interests are, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today!