Tennessee Divorce Law

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Tennessee Divorce Guidelines

Tennessee's Residency Requirements

The petitioner must be a Tennessee resident.

If the grounds for divorce arose outside of Tennessee, the petitioner must have been a resident of Tennessee for 6 months or more before filing for divorce.

Tennessee's Grounds for Divorce

Tennessee residents may file for divorce under fault or no-fault grounds.

Tennessee's no-fault grounds include:

  • irreconcilable differences
  • living separate and apart without cohabitation for 2 years or more, if there are no minor children involved

Tennessee's fault grounds include:

  • adultery
  • conviction of a felony and imprisonment
  • impotence
  • willful desertion for 1 year or more
 

Tennessee's Child Custody Guidelines

Divorcing parents are allowed to collaborate on a child custody arrangement. If the parents cannot reach a decision, a Tennessee court will make a ruling.

Tennessee courts consider factors such as:

  • each parent's past and future performance of parental duties
  • whether a parent will encourage a meaningful relationship between the child and other parent
  • any history or evidence of domestic violence
  • the wishes of the child, if 12 years of age or older
 

Tennessee's Child Support Guidelines

If the parents cannot agree on the amount of child support and the paying parent, child support will be decided by state-specific calculations and guidelines.

Tennessee courts consider factors such as:

  • each parent's gross income
  • each parent's other financial obligations
 

Tennessee's Spousal Support Guidelines

Spousal support can be paid in one lump sum, in installments, or periodically. The spouses may determine the spousal support amount and payment schedule, or the courts may award spousal support.

Tennessee courts consider factors such as:

  • duration of the marriage
  • the standard of living experienced during the marriage
  • any custodial arrangements
  • each spouse's financial resourced, earning capacity, and assets
 

Tennessee's Property Division Guidelines

Tennessee has adopted equitable distribution guidelines, which means all property (including gifts and inheritances) will be divided as fairly and equally as possible. Spouses may collaborate on the property distribution, but if they are unable to agree the courts will make a ruling.

Tennessee courts consider factors such as:

  • an increase in value due to one spouse's contributions to the property, including acquisition and upkeep
  • whether or not one spouse contributed to the other's education, career, and earning capacity
 

Tennessee's Venue Guidelines

A petitioner may file the divorce forms in the respondent's Tennessee county of residence.

If the respondent cannot be located, the divorce forms may be filed in the petitioner's county of residence.

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  • 2. Answer the Questions:

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  • 3. File the Documents:

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Myrna from Memphis, TN
Feb 22, 2015
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Dec 5, 2014
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Mar 14, 2016
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