You never planned to go through a divorce, but it is estimated that nearly 50% of all first-time marriages will end in divorce. Although this is unfortunate, it is a reality. So where do you turn? What should you do? Turn to the Putnam Firm.

What are the Grounds for Divorce?

  • Irreconcilable differences between the parties.
  • A two year period of separation, without cohabitation, if there are no minor children involved.
  • Impotence.
  • Adultery.
  • Willful desertion for one whole year.
  • Conviction of an infamous crime, or sentenced to confinement in a penitentiary for a felony.
  • Cruel or inhuman treatment that makes cohabitation unsafe.
  • Attempting to take the life of the other.
  • Refusal to move to this state, and being willfully absent from the spouse residing in Tennessee for two years.
  • The woman was pregnant at the time of the marriage, by another person, without the knowledge of the husband.
  • Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse after the marriage.
  • Indignities that render the spouse's position intolerable.
  • Abandonment and refusal to provide for the spouse while having the ability.

What is a Legal Seperation?
Someone who alleges grounds for divorce may, as an alternative to filing a complaint for divorce, file a complaint for legal separation. This sets the grounds for legal separation. The other party may deny the existence of grounds for divorce but, unless the other party specifically objects to the granting of an order of legal separation, the court shall declare the parties to be legally separated.

If the other party specifically objects to legal separation, the court may, after a hearing, grant an order of legal separation. The court also has the power to grant an absolute divorce to either party where there has been an order of legal separation for more than two (2) years upon a petition being filed by either party that sets forth the original order for legal separation and that the parties have not become reconciled.

Legal separation shall not affect the bonds of matrimony but shall permit the parties to cease matrimonial cohabitation. The court may provide for matters such as child custody, visitation, support and property issues during legal separation upon motion by either party or by agreement of the parties.

How is Property Distributed?
Tennessee is an equitable distribution state that divided the marital property equitably without regard to marital faulty. Marital property is all property acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title.

The court may award the family home and effects, or the right to live there for a reasonable period of time, to either party, but shall give special consideration to the spouse having physical custody of a child or children of the marriage.

What is Alimony?
The court may award alimony to be paid by one spouse to the other, or out of either spouse's property, according to the nature of the case and the circumstances of the parties. The court may award rehabilitative alimony, periodic alimony, transitional alimony, or lump sum alimony, or a combination of these, taking the following factors into consideration:

  • The financial resources of each party
  • The relative earning capability
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age, mental, and physical condition of each party
  • Whether the custodial parent is unable to work due to the care of a minor child
  • The separate assets of each party
  • The property apportioned to the party
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The contributions as a homemaker
  • The relative faulty of the parties
  • Any other factors, including the tax consequences to each part

Does my Spouse still have the Right to Use My Last Name?
There is no provision in the Tennessee Code for the restoration of a wife's name upon divorce. However, a wife may resume the use of her former or maiden name after a divorce.

How do I get Custody of My Child?
Visit our Child Custody section for more information.

What if we have a Prenuptial Agreement?
Any antenuptial or prenuptial agreement entered into by spouses concerning property owned by either spouse before the marriage is binding.

[The above is based on Tennessee Code - Title 36]







Putnam Firm, PLC     2148 Monroe Ave     Memphis, TN 38104          901-302-9120

The material presented on this web site is intended for informational purposes only. © Putnam Firm