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Grounds For Divorce In Tennessee

Grounds For Divorce In Tennessee

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 Tennessee 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 for divorce:

  • 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 nonblood 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, William H. Stover has helped countless clients initiate their divorce petitions. He is a knowledgeable attorney who provides his 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 our services, call the Stover Law Group at 615-613-0541 or contact us online to schedule a free initial phone consultation to discuss your case. We represent clients in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee, including Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Gallatin, Shelbyville and Lebanon.

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