Fault Vs. No-Fault Divorce In Tennessee

It is a common misconception in Tennessee that fault no longer matters since the State has adopted a "no-fault" divorce option. Fault-based divorces are still alive and well in Tennessee.

No-Fault Divorce

If parties are able to amicably resolve all of the issues in their divorce action either through mediation or through traditional offers and counteroffers, then Tennessee allows them to obtain a divorce case using a "no-fault" option, known as Irreconcilable Differences. However, this option is only available to those parties who are able to amicably settle their case. Otherwise, the only way to get divorced in Tennessee is through by going to trial using one of the traditional fault-based grounds for divorce.

Fault-Based Divorce

There are 13 fault-based grounds for divorce in Tennessee, but the three most commonly used fault-based grounds are Inappropriate Marital Conduct (sometimes referred to as Cruel and inhuman treatment), Adultery and Habitual Drunkeness/Drug Use. In addition to supporting the actual awarding of the divorce to one party, a finding of fault can also have a significant impact on an alimony award and can lead to the requirement that one party pay the attorneys' fees of the other party in the divorce action.

There are pros and cons in fault vs. no-fault divorce, making it critical to work with an experienced lawyer who can explain your options and protect your interests in the divorce process. Mr. Hayes represents clients in no-fault and fault-based divorce proceedings.

Learn more in the Divorce Guide.

As a divorce and matrimonial law attorney with more than 20 years of experience and a Rule 31 certified mediator, Mr. Hayes provides sound counsel and aggressive representation to his clients. Mr. Hayes has a tremendous amount of courtroom experience upon which he relies in both the courtroom and the mediation setting.

Contact Larry Hayes Jr., Attorney At Law

Email the firm or call 615-256-2602 in Nashville to schedule a consultation with Larry Hayes, Jr.

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