Tennessee Ground Rules

A divorce may be granted in Tennessee divorce law using either "Fault" or "No-Fault" grounds.

By Divorce Magazine
Updated: October 06, 2015
Grounds For Divorce

A divorce may be granted in Tennessee divorce law using either "Fault" or "No-Fault" grounds.

Fault grounds include:

  1. impotence;
  2. adultery;
  3. conviction of a felony and imprisonment;
  4. alcoholism and/or drug addiction;
  5. wife is pregnant by another at the time of the marriage without husband's knowledge;
  6. willful desertion for one year;
  7. bigamy;
  8. endangering the life of a spouse;
  9. commission and/or conviction of an infamous crime;
  10. refusing the move to Tennessee with a spouse and willfully absenting oneself from a new residence for two years;
  11. cruel and inhuman treatment;
  12. spouse has made life intolerable;
  13. abandonment or refusing to provide home and support;
  14. living separate and apart for two or more years.

No-Fault grounds include:

  1. Irreconcilable differences if there is no denial of this ground or the spouses submit an executed marital dissolution agreement;
  2. living separate and apart without cohabitation for two years when there are no minor children.

Of these, the "No-Fault" ground is the most straightforward and easiest to prove under Tennessee divorce law.

In Tennessee divorce law, the court declares the marriage contract broken; in an annulment, the court says that there never was a marriage. Annulment is much more difficult to prove -- and is much rarer -- than divorce. If you want to go this route, you will definitely need to speak to a divorce attorney. Of course, if you want an annulment for religious reasons, you'll need to consult with your priest, minister, or rabbi as well.

You'll need to provide your divorce lawyer with the following documentation, in order to proceed with your dissolution as per Tennessee divorce law. Start gathering everything together as soon as possible so that you can find out what might be missing and submit any requests for duplicates.

Personal Data

  • Full addresses and phone numbers of both parties.
  • Full names, birth dates, and addresses of all children of the marriage, their school and grade.
  • Information about any prior marriage of either spouse, including a certified copy of the divorce decree.
  • A copy of any domestic contracts (e.g. a prenuptial agreement).
  • Information about any previous legal proceedings between the spouses or involving any of the children.
  • Dates and particulars about any previous separations, attempts at reconciliation, or marriage counseling.

Financial Data

  • Your previous year's income tax return, and any related data from the IRS.
  • Information about your current income, e.g. a current pay slip.
  • A list of substantial assets and liabilities of both spouses.

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By Divorce Magazine| May 26, 2006

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