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Tennessee Divorce

Before beginning divorce proceedings in Tennessee, you should speak to a divorce attorney to better understand the process and requirements for obtaining a divorce. Your lawyer will also be able to help protect your rights and ensure that you receive a fair divorce settlement.

Divorce Requirements

Before filing for divorce in Tennessee, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months. The divorce process begin when one spouse files a complaint for divorce in the county in which he or she resides.

If you and your spouse are in agreement on all issues (such as property division and child custody), you may obtain a >no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences. If you cannot agree on key issues, then you must obtain a fault-based divorce.

Grounds, or reasons, for a fault-based divorce in Tennessee include:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Cruel and inhumane treatment of the other spouse
  • Felony conviction and prison sentence
  • Regular drunkenness or narcotic drug abuse

Property Division & Alimony

In Tennessee, all property not classified as "separate" is considered "marital property" and will be divided "equitably" (but not necessarily equally). Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage and property obtained during the marriage via gift or inheritance to strictly one spouse.

Under certain conditions, the court will order alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance) to be paid by one spouse to the other. The length and amount of support awarded depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial situation and earning capacity.

Child Custody & Child Support

Tennessee law requires that the court make child custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. The courts will consider joint custody if it is in the best interests of the child. Generally, a parent who is not awarded custody is granted visitation rights.

Child support is calculated based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income. After the court has ruled on child support, the paying parent can make online payments through Tennessee Child Support. The child support is then paid to the other parent.

Find & Hire Local Tennessee Divorce Attorneys

Whether you live in Knoxville, Memphis or elsewhere in Tennessee, can help connect you with divorce lawyers in your area. Call 877-913-7222 to use our free legal referral service, or complete the form on this page today.