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Detailing the grounds for divorce in Tennessee

There are any number of reasons why couples in Clarksville may choose to separate, yet few may be aware that the state sets guidelines on what are legal grounds for divorce. If you are like many of those who have come to us here at Runyon and Runyon citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for wanting a divorce, you may not be pleased to learn that getting such a divorce in Tennessee may not be that simple. On top of that, the reason for your divorce may also impact your ability to be awarded alimony.

The Annotated Code of Tennessee list the following as being reasonable grounds for divorce:

  • Adultery
  • The attempted murder of a spouse
  • The commission of any crime that results in infamy or incarceration
  • Cases of bigamy or polygamy
  • Habitual drugs and/or alcohol abuse
  • Intolerable cruelty

If it’s discovered that your spouse was impotent or incapable or procreating, or if (unbeknownst to you) your wife was pregnant by another man, all at the time of your marriage, then the state also views those as valid reasons for divorce. Him or her refusing to support you, abandoning you for more than one year, or living apart from you for two years (while also not having had children together), are also acceptable grounds. So too is irreconcilable differences, yet both of you must agree that your marital problems are beyond your abilities to resolve.

Chapter 5, section 121 of the state’s title on domestic relations state that the court can take into account the relative fault of either you or your spouse in ending your marriage into consideration when considering awarding alimony. Information on this and other factors used to determine spousal support can found here on our site.