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Home / Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

Tennessee provides both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce, offering flexibility for couples based on their circumstances.

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

  • Irreconcilable Differences: The most common no-fault ground in Tennessee, meaning that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Both spouses must agree on the division of property, spousal support, and other matters for the divorce to proceed.
  • Living Separately: The spouses have lived separately and apart for at least two years, with no minor children.

Fault-Based Grounds for Divorce

  • Adultery: One spouse engages in voluntary sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse.
  • Impotence/Inability to Procreate: One spouse is naturally and incurably impotent or incapable of procreation.
  • Bigamy: One spouse knowingly marries a second person while still married.
  • Desertion/Abandonment: One spouse willfully abandons the other for at least one year.
  • Conviction of Infamous Crime: One spouse is convicted of a crime that is considered infamous.
  • Conviction of Felony and Imprisonment: One spouse is convicted of a felony and sentenced to imprisonment.
  • Attempted Murder: One spouse attempts to murder the other.
  • Cruel and Inhuman Treatment: One spouse endangers the other’s life or health, making cohabitation unsafe.
  • Indignities: One spouse treats the other in a way that makes their condition intolerable and life burdensome.
  • Habitual Drunkenness or Drug Abuse: Habitual intoxication or drug use that develops after the marriage.
  • Refusal to Move to Tennessee: One spouse moves to Tennessee, but the other willfully refuses to do so for two years.
  • Malicious Turning Out-of-Doors: One spouse forces the other out of the marital home without justification.

Key Points

  • Irreconcilable Differences as a Common Ground: Most divorces in Tennessee are filed under irreconcilable differences, simplifying the process.
  • Impact of Fault on Divorce Proceedings: Citing fault-based grounds can affect property division, spousal support, and child custody arrangements.
  • Residency Requirements: To file for divorce in Tennessee, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before filing.


Understanding the grounds for divorce in Tennessee is crucial for anyone considering ending their marriage in the state. Whether opting for a no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences or citing specific fault-based grounds, it's important to consider how the grounds might affect the divorce process, including financial settlements and child custody decisions. Consulting with a legal professional can provide guidance tailored to an individual's specific situation.

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