Tennessee Divorce Laws

Tennessee Divorce Details

One of the easiest aspects of getting a divorce is the ability for the married woman to change her name back to her maiden name. This can happen quickly in every state. However, there are variations in divorce proceedings that do vary from state to state.

Filing for divorce in Tennessee starts with establishing residency. The requirement is to be living in the state for at least six months before you can file for a petition. If you are a military personal, that residency requirement goes up to one year.

In Tennessee a couple can enter into a legal separation which will have them living apart from one another but dealing with matters of child support and custody. If a separation has been in effect for two years without any hope of reconciliation then an official divorce decree can be granted.

Typically, legal separations are a precursor to a no-fault divorce where both parties agree that the marriage is broken beyond repair. In a contested divorce, the grounds need to be approved by the court before the divorce decree is granted.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee

As a spouse prepares to file for a contested divorce, they need to decide on the grounds for that divorce. Among the considerations are if the other spouse committed adultery or even bigamy. If the spouse willingly abandoned their partner for up to one year, was convicted of a felony crime or is serving time in jail those can be additional grounds for divorce.

In Tennessee you can also file for divorce if the wife was pregnant with another man’s baby at the time of the marriage or if either spouse has made living under one roof intolerable through emotional or physical abuse.

Property Distribution Laws

Tennessee has deemed itself to be an equitable distribution state. That means that any property or assets that were created during the marriage becomes what will be divided no matter whose name might be on the title of ownership. Whoever’s fault it was for the marriage is break-up is not considered by the judge. However, what is considered will be how long the marriage lasted, how old the couple is, what contributions were made by each spouse (homemaker versus salaried worker), the potential social security benefits and the potential for each spouse to make their own money.

Alimony or Spousal Support Laws

When it comes to determining the amount of potential alimony payments then the Tennessee divorce judge will take the fault of the break-up into consideration. They will also factor in who will be having custody of any children and what the child support payments might be.

Also taken into deliberation is whether or not the person receiving alimony will be capable of creating their own financial security or if they contributed to the financial security of their spouse. The question of maintaining a standard of living also comes into play when deciding on alimony payments.

Child Custody Laws

As with other states, Tennessee courts attempts to handle the issue of child custody by putting the needs of the child first and foremost. This will mean looking at the child’s emotional ties to the parents, their desires of where they want to live and go to school.

A judge can also look at how a child interacts with their parents and whether or not there have been any incidents of abuse. With all those considerations, the judge will rule on all custody and visitation matters.