What are the Grounds for Divorce?

What are the Grounds for Divorce?

If you are considering getting divorced from your spouse, you are likely filled with a wide range of emotions and have a great deal of questions. Regardless of whether you and your spouse are best friends who simply fell out of love or never really got along, deciding to get a divorce can be a very stressful situation. Only an experienced Tennessee divorce attorney can give you advice on your specific situation but learning about the various grounds for divorce can help you feel more confident.

The State of Tennessee has two types of divorce: uncontested and contested divorce. Uncontested divorce usually results from irreconcilable differences. Typically, this simply means that both parties have decided that they no longer get along and have no chance of fixing their marriage. In this case neither party is responsible for explaining or presenting any proof as to why the marriage disintegrated.  More important, the parties agree on how they will address all debt and asset division, parenting plan, and any other issues.

A contested divorce is a divorce in which one of the parties do not agree on any issue with regard to who is at fault, the degree of fault, debt or asset division, custody, parenting plan issues, alimony, or any other issue. Disagreement on any one or all of these issues create a contested divorce matter.  If you find yourself in a contested divorce you will be required to prove (eventually at trial) that you have grounds for a contested divorce. Grounds for contested divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Abuse of narcotics
  • Living apart for two years with no minor children
  • Inappropriate marital conduct
  • Willful or malicious desertion for a year
  • Conviction of a felony after the couple are married
  • Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband prior to marriage without the husband’s knowledge
  • Attempt to murder one’s spouse
  • Impotency or sterility
  • Bigamy
  • Refusing to provide for one’s spouse even though the party is able to do so

Depending upon what the grounds are for divorce, proving it can be challenging. This is one of the many reasons that the moment you consider getting divorced from your spouse you need to contact a Tennessee divorce attorney. Even if you and your future ex-spouse used to be remarkable friends, divorce has a way of transforming a couple into mortal enemies. This means that even if you think you will have an uncontested divorce you still need to contact an attorney.

Dinah Michael