20 Things to Know about Divorce in TN

Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on June 7, 2019

Contemplating a divorce in TN? If so, we think you’ll benefit from some quick answers to questions on your mind. While this list is certainly not all inclusive, it’s a great starting point. In the meantime, you should always consult with an experienced family law attorney for legal advice concerning your personal situation.

Divorce in TN

  1. TN Code § 36-4-101 lists fifteen grounds for divorce from the bonds of matrimony.
  2. In most situations, papers are filed in the county where the couple lived before they separated.
  3. An uncontested divorce means both parties agree the marriage failed because of irreconcilable differences. To get an uncontested divorce in Tennessee, the parties must reach an agreement regarding the division of their property and the custody of their children.
  4. While the allegation of inappropriate marital conduct can sometimes include cruel and inhuman treatment, it can also include much milder allegations that make continued cohabitation improper.
  5. A contested divorce must state the ground(s) for divorce (other than irreconcilable differences) upon which the Complaint is based. Generally speaking, “Contested” means the parties don’t necessarily agree on the reason for the divorce or what should happen next.
  6. Even if you don’t have direct evidence of your spouse engaging in sexual relations with someone outside your marriage, you can claim adultery as marital misconduct.
  7. Impotence and the inability to procreate are grounds for divorce.
  8. An experienced family law attorney can counsel you on the dangers of dating even after you’re separated.
  9. Uncontested divorces are usually finalized quicker and are generally less expensive.
  10. You can still get divorced even if your spouse doesn’t participate in the legal action.
  11. Depending on where you live, you may be able to resolve your divorce without going to court.
  12. Executing a marital dissolution agreement allows you and your spouse to determine what happens with your assets, etc. Otherwise, a judge makes the determination.
  13. Mediation is required in most divorce cases. Most of the time, the parties split the cost of mediation.
  14. Couples ending same-sex marriages have the same rights to divorce. However, they may face unique challenges.
  15. The court considers the child’s best interests in making child custody decisions. No preference is made to either parent based on gender.
  16. When it comes to dividing assets, there’s a difference between marital property and separate property.
  17. Distribution of marital property is defined in TN § 36-4-121.  Tennessee is an equitable distribution state.
  18. Tennessee law recognizes different types of alimony. An award for spousal support is also gender neutral.
  19. A divorce granted on the ground of adultery can affect alimony and equitable distribution.
  20. A Final Decree of Divorce can often be modified if you can prove a significant change in circumstances since the divorce was granted.

Contact Us

At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, we are experienced family law attorneys. We recognize this represents a difficult time in your life. Contact us to see how we can help you.

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