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Adultery & Divorce in Tennessee | Turner Law Offices

Proving Adultery in Tennessee Divorce Cases

Adultery in TennesseeAdultery, or “cheating”, is a leading cause for divorce in Tennessee. Adultery is a fault ground in Tennessee, and must be proven by preponderance of the evidence at trial.  The civil action for alienation of affection has been abolished in Tennessee.  Divorce attorneys also include inappropriate marital conduct as a ground in the divorce complaint; if a spouse is not actually having an affair, the conduct that raises suspicion is often inappropriate for a married person.

How to Prove Adultery

The legal standard to prove adultery does not require juicy and theatrical pornographic evidence; the act of adultery is clandestine by nature.  Adultery is often proven by circumstantial evidence, i.e. things add up suggesting the affair.  Circumstantial evidence of an adultery include the following:

  • Coming home late
  • Lipstick on the collar
  • Fragrances that are not yours
  • Secret calls, text messages or emails
  • Observed inappropriate affection toward someone other than you
  • Pregnancy of the suspected paramour
  • Catching a STD from your spouse

Successful adultery claims may also be proven if the spouse had disposition of affection toward a suspected paramour with the opportunity to act on that disposition of affection. Disposition of affection includes someone saw your spouse and the suspected paramour kissing, hugging, holding hands, dirty dancing, coming out of a motel room together, staying overnight in your house while you’re working, etc.  Opportunity to act upon that disposition toward affection is also required such as spending intimate time in the same hotel room, closet, or car where they might engage sexual relations.

In some cases, your divorce attorney will hire a private investigator to obtain evidence of adultery.  Oftentimes, the private investigator will perform surveillance on your spouse and will obtain photographs of the disposition of affection and the opportunity.  Under Tennessee law, it is a crime to secretly set up a camera to photograph someone committing any sexual acts without their knowledge if there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.  It is also illegal to place a GPS tracking device on vehicles under most situations.

Impact of Adultery on Divorce

Under Tennessee law, property is divided equitably, i.e. somewhat equally, regardless of fault.  Adultery does NOT mean that you will get everything, take your spouse to the cleaner, or clean your spouse’s clock.  Proving adultery can, however, improve your chances of getting alimony as relative fault of the spouses is a factor.  Under Tennessee alimony law, if your spouse earns substantially more than you earn, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage should be the same after the divorce and should not be reduced because of the wrong of your spouse, i.e. committing adultery.

Competent Divorce Representation in Tennessee Adultery Cases

If adultery is a concern in your divorce matter, hire a competent divorce attorney who has the knowledge, training and experience of representing clients with adultery allegations.  Turner Law Offices, P.C. has experience with private investigators and Tennessee laws relating to electronic surveillance in divorce cases.  Call our offices today or request online consultation for a same-day in person meeting with one of our divorce attorneys.

(615) 259-2660

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