With the institution of marriage, comes the unfortunate circumstance of divorce.

While divorce rates are declining nationwide, the need still exists in some situations. If you are faced with divorce, it is important to be informed of the intricacies of divorce and rely on someone with the legal experience and knowledge that you can trust to advocate on your behalf.

Tennessee law requires that in order to file for a divorce in Tennessee, statutory residency requirements must be met. Either the grounds relied upon for divorce must have occurred within the State or the party seeking the divorce must have resided within the State for six (6) months prior to the filing of the divorce. Tennessee law also mandates certain statutory waiting periods prior to granting a divorce. Be sure to talk with your lawyer regarding these statutory requirements.

All Petitions for Divorce must declare the appropriate grounds upon which the divorce is being sought. Tennessee does not allow for true “no-fault” divorces. In order to be granted a Divorce, certain grounds must be alleged and proven before a Court will grant either spouse a divorce.

Common grounds for divorce in Tennessee are as follows:

  • Irreconcilable Differences*
  • Adultery
  • Conviction of a felony or imprisonment
  • Alcoholism and/or drug addiction
  • Wife is pregnant by another at the time of marriage without the husband’s knowledge
  • Impotence
  • Inappropriate Marital Conduct
  • Willful desertion for one (1) year or more
  • Bigamy
  • Endangering the life of the spouse
  • Conviction of an infamous crime
  • Refusing to move to Tennessee with a spouse and willfully absenting oneself from a new residence for two (2) years or more
  • Cruel and inhumane treatment or unsafe and improper marital conduct
  • Indignities that make a spouse’s life intolerable
  • Abandonment, neglect, or banning the spouse from the home
  • *Irreconcilable Differences is the most commonly alleged ground for divorce, however, in order to be granted a divorce in Tennessee on the basis of Irreconcilable Differences, the parties must agree on a fair and equitable division of the marital assets and liabilities, and in the event of children, an agreement that provides for the best interest of the children as it relates to visitation and child support. Without an agreement on all terms, a party is required to prove one of the other available grounds.

In all cases involving minor children, the court requires the parents to attend a parenting education class prior to the divorce being finalized. There are several companies that offer this four (4) hour seminar including www.lifebridgetn.com. The cost for attending the course is $40.00.

Child Support: Tennessee child support guidelines uses the Percentage of Income Formula which calculates the support obligation as a percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent who is obligated to support the child. This method simply applies a percentage to the income of the parent according to the number of children requiring support.

When to court is required to determine a child support obligation it will consider the following factors to determine the appropriate amount: (1) the financial resources of the child; (2) the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved; (3) the physical and emotional conditions and educational needs of the child; (4) the financial resources, needs, and obligations of the parents; (5) the earning capacity of each parent; (6) the age and health of the child; (7) the monetary and non-monetary contributions of each parent to the well-being of the child; (8) any pension or retirement benefits of the parents; (9) whether the non-custodial parent's visitation is over 110 days per year or under 55 days per year; and (10) any other relevant factors.

The court may also require a that one parent be responsible for carrying health insurance coverage for the child as well as having the paying parent have a life insurance policy naming the child as a beneficiary should he she pre-decease the emancipation of the child.(Tennessee Code - Volume 6A, Title 36, Sections 36-4-101 and 36-4-501)

If you are considering divorce or are going through the divorce process, call Premier Law Group today for your free consultation.

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