Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Tennessee Divorce Rights


A person filing a petition for divorce in the state of Tennessee is called as Plaintiff. Person who does not file the petition but infact has to defend himself/herself and has to report to the court is known as Defendant. Tennessee divorce rights require a plaintiff to be a resident of the state. If however the cause of divorce did not occur in the state, it is mandatory for either of the parties to be a resident of the state for six consecutive months preceding the divorce petition.

In Tennessee, a plaintiff is supposed to file the case in the circuit court or the chancery where either of the parties resides. According to Tennessee divorce rights, the chancery or the circuit court of the county can grant a decree of divorce if the court considers that the two parties have been living separately for a period of more than two years.

Grounds for filing a divorce case in Tennessee

Tennessee divorce rights recognize some other legal grounds of divorce which could be sought by a plaintiff. These legal grounds of seeking divorce are: impotency, irreconcilable differences occurring between the two parties, spouses living separately for a continuous period of two years when there is no minor child, adultery, bigamy, conviction of felony, pregnancy of a woman by another person, without husband knowing it, extreme cruelty and inhuman treatment, willful desertion of the partner for one year and habitual drunkenness.

Property distribution in Tennessee

The principle of equitable distribution of property is defined by Tennessee divorce rights as a principle which would require the court to divide the property acquired by the couple during the marriage in a just and fair manner. The property should be divided in an equitable manner and should not be divided equally between the two parties. In order to divide the property between the two parties, the court can take into account a number of factors so as to satisfy itself that the distribution being done by the court will prove to be just and fair. Some of the factors considered by the court are: length of marriage, spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of property during marriage, future employment and vocational skills of the spouse, contributions in the family responsibilities, age, health and physical and mental health of two parties, tax consequences and economic conditions of the two parties.

Tennessee alimony and child custody

Tennessee divorce rights have special provisions regarding alimony award and spousal support if the court considers that the alimony award would be necessary for a party after the divorce. If the court considers that one party will find it extremely difficult to earn bread for itself, it can arrange for a stipulated amount for a specified period of time, so as to help the party. The spousal support however is awarded only in exceptional cases and all divorce cases do not have a provision of spousal support or alimony award. Factors which play an important role while deciding on the issue of alimony support are: length of the marriage, relative earning capacities of each party, contribution of each party, tax consequences, separate assets of the parties concerned.

Distribution of property also effects the decision as to who will get the custody of the child after the divorce. The person whom the court considers being suitable and who will supposedly take care of the financial and educational need of the child will have greater chances of getting the custody of the child.


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