William StoverAttorney At Law

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Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

Legally acceptable reasons for ending your marriage

When you file a petition for divorce, you must cite the grounds upon which you are seeking a dissolution of marriage. Tennessee grants divorces based on a number of different grounds. At the Stover Law Group, we have experience handling a wide range of divorces based on each one of these grounds and know how to fight for your best interests.

No-fault divorce

No-fault divorce means that neither spouse is solely responsible for destroying the marriage. The two no-fault grounds for divorce in TN are as follows:

  • Irreconcilable differences if any of the following applies
    • There is no denial or contesting this ground
    • Both spouses have signed and submitted a marital dissolution agreement
    • Irreconcilable differences is combined with another fault-based ground
  • The spouses have been legally separated or living apart for at least two years and there are no minor children

Fault-based divorce

State law identifies a number of causes for which you can file:

  • Impotence
  • Adultery
  • Felony conviction with subsequent imprisonment
  • Abuse of or addiction to alcohol, drugs or other controlled substances
  • Willful desertion for one year or longer
  • Previous marriage still intact (bigamy)
  • Putting a spouse’s life in danger
  • Conviction of an infamous crime
  • Refusal to cohabitate with spouse in Tennessee, and/or willingly vacating oneself from the marital residence for two years or longer
  • Cruel or inhuman treatment, or unsafe and improper conduct
  • Intentionally making one’s spouse’s life intolerable
  • Abandonment, neglect or barring one’s spouse from entry into the home


In certain cases, you may wish to seek an annulment instead of a divorce. Annulments erase any record of a marriage — in essence, treating the marriage as if it never existed. But the grounds for annulment in Tennessee are much stricter than those for divorce:

  • Underage marriage without proper consent
  • Marriage occurred when one spouse was already legally married
  • Incestuous marriage (between any blood relatives except cousins and certain non-blood relatives including stepparent/stepchild, adoptive parent/child, half-siblings, adopted siblings)
  • Fraud, coercion or malicious intent

As a family law attorney for more than a decade, I’ve helped countless clients initiate their divorce petitions. I am a knowledgeable attorney who provides my clients with unparalleled support during what is often a difficult time.

Trustworthy Nashville attorney who can help you cite grounds for divorce

For more information on my services, call the Stover Law Group at 615.613.0541 or contact me online to schedule a free initial phone consultation to discuss your case. I represent clients in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee, including Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Gallatin, Shelbyville and Lebanon.

William H. Stover Attorney at Law
500 Church Street, St. Cloud Corner, Suite 450
Nashville, Tennessee, 37219 USA