In order to file for divorce in Tennessee, the person filing must allege grounds for the divorce. Tennessee has 15 specific grounds for divorce (Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-101). The basic grounds are:
- Impotency and incapable of reproduction at the time of the marriage.
- Desertion for 1 year
- Conviction of an infamous crime
- Conviction of a felony and sentenced to confinement in a penitentiary
- Attempt on the life of the other party, by poison or any other means showing malice
- Refusal of a spouse to move to Tennessee for two years
- Pregnancy at the time of the marriage by another, without the knowledge of the husband
- Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotic drugs, when the spouse contracted such habit after the marriage
- Cruel or inhuman treatment or conduct (aka inappropriate Martial conduct)
- Indignities offered to the other spouse as to render the other spouse’s condition intolerable, forcing them to withdraw
- Abandonment by the other spouse or forcing them out of doors
- Irreconcilable differences
- Separation for 2 or more years, if there are no minor children
Each of these grounds have specific requirements to prove. Although one ground may sound like the situation in your case, it is possible that you do not have the right facts to file under those grounds. Even if a person meets the requirements for a specific ground, it may be in their best interest to file under a different ground. In Tennessee, grounds may be plead in the alternative; it is possible to plead more than one ground in the complaint.
Over the next several posts, I will break down each of the different grounds, explaining what they require and the advantages of each ground.