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Home » Nashville Divorce Attorneys | Tennessee Divorce Law | Turner Law » Nashville Grounds for Divorce–What Went Wrong?

Nashville Grounds for Divorce–What Went Wrong?

nashville grounds for divorceA divorce can be granted based on “irreconcilable differences” or upon grounds.

A divorce upon Irreconcilable Differences is a no-fault divorce, which does not require any proof of grounds. If the parties agree to all terms of the divorce, including division of marital property/marital debts and parenting time and child support if there are children, a lawyer will prepare and the parties may sign a Marital Dissolution Agreement (MDA) and Permanent Parenting Plan (PPP), and submit the documents to the Judge for approval. The Judge will approve the documents if she finds that the terms of the documents are fair and equitable

If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all issues between themselves, then the only option is a fault-based divorce, which requires that a spouse allege and prove one of the following grounds:

  • Either party, at the time of the contract, was and still is naturally impotent or incapable of procreation;
  • Either party has knowingly entered into a second marriage, in violation of a previous marriage, still subsisting;
  • Either party has committed adultery;
  • Willful or malicious desertion or absence of either party, without a reasonable cause, for one (1) whole year;
  • Being convicted of any crime which, by the laws of the state, renders the party infamous;
  • Being convicted of a crime which, by the laws of the state, is declared to be a felony, and sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary;
  • Either party has attempted the life of the other, by poison or any other means showing malice;
  • Refusal, on the part of a spouse, to remove with that person’s spouse to this state, without a reasonable cause, and being willfully absent from the spouse residing in Tennessee for two (2) years;
  • The woman was pregnant at the time of the marriage, by another person, without the knowledge of the husband;
  • Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotic drugs of either party, when the spouse has contracted either such habit after marriage;
  • The husband or wife is guilty of such cruel and inhuman treatment or conduct towards the spouse as renders cohabitation unsafe and improper which may also be referred to in pleadings as inappropriate marital conduct;
  • The husband or wife has offered such indignities to the spouse’s person as to render the spouse’s position intolerable, and thereby forced the spouse to withdraw;
  • The husband or wife has abandoned the spouse or turned the spouse out of doors for no just cause, and has refused or neglected to provide for the spouse while having the ability to so provide;
  • Irreconcilable differences between the parties; and
  • For a continuous period of two (2) or more years which commenced prior to or after April 18, 1985, both parties have lived in separate residences, have not cohabitated as man and wife during such period, and there are no minor children of the parties.

The most commonly used ground for divorce is inappropriate marital conduct, which means that one spouse has done something that the other spouse deems inappropriate. The literal reading of this ground seems to imply that something atrocious occurred during the marriage; however, a simple, every day actions/inactions are sufficient to prove inappropriate marital conduct. Cases where inappropriate marital conduct has been proven include the following: “flipping the bird,” calling the other spouse names or using profanity, not providing for the spouse, abnormal sexual requests, and, generally, being a pain in the #^$. Lesser conduct which occurs over a longer period of time may rise to the level of inappropriate marital conduct, while single acts that are shocking and dangerous may, in and of themselves, be inappropriate marital conduct.

Make sure that you tell your lawyer ALL grounds for divorce you may have; if you do not put a ground in your Divorce Complaint, the Judge will not hear any proof about it! Turner Law Offices, P.C. has over 19 years of experience helping our client’s with alimony issues. The case law in Tennessee is extremely complicated and fact specific. There are literally thousands of cases in Tennessee dealing with alimony; only our experienced attorneys can help you to competently migrate through the alimony maze.

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