top of page


Deciding whether to file a divorce is never easy, but contact us if your marriage is ending and you feel a divorce is the best option.  There are steps we can take that will make your divorce go as smoothly as possible.  The sooner you obtain professional advice, the sooner you understand the divorce process.  With that understanding will come greater clarity that will enable you to better deal with the stress and pressure involved in the divorce process. 


We will take the time to talk with you—to answer your questions and explain the process.  Most people are hesitant to come to a lawyer with questions about divorce.  If you are considering filing for divorce, or if you have been served with divorce papers, you need to seek legal advice and assistance to begin preparing for your future.

Where can I File for Divorce?

Before you start the process, it is important that you know there are specific requirements that must be met in order for a divorce to be granted. For example, before filing for divorce in Tennessee, one of the spouses must have been a resident of Tennessee for more than six months.  Additionally, if both spouses live in Tennessee, the case must be filed in the county where the non-filing spouse lives or the county where the events giving rise to the divorce occurred. 


After the divorce is filed, there is a 60-day waiting period before the court can grant the divorce.  If children are involved, and both spouses agree to all issues, there is a 90-day waiting period.

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee?

There are a number of grounds for divorce in Tennessee, sixteen to be exact.  Of the sixteen grounds, two are no-fault grounds.  Irreconcilable Differences between the parties and being separated for two or more years with no minor children are considered no-fault grounds for divorce.  Technically, the ground of Irreconcilable Differences is not considered a no-fault ground, but it is treated as such by most courts and is no-fault for all practical purposes since it does not require testimony as to the fault of one of the parties.


The following is a list of the remaining grounds for divorce in Tennessee, and are considered grounds  for a contested divorce:


  • Cruel and Inhuman Treatment a/k/a Inappropriate Marital Conduct

  • Adultery

  • Conviction of a Felony and Incarceration

  • Conviction of an Infamous Crime

  • After the Marriage, Habitual Drunkenness or Abuse of Narcotic Drugs

  • Impotence and Inability to Procreate

  • Willful and Malicious Desertion for One Year

  • Attempt on the Life of One’s Spouse

  • Refusal to Move Without Reasonable Cause

  • Bigamy

  • Unknown to the Husband, the Wife was Pregnant at the Time of the Marriage

  • Abandonment

  • Indignities that Render Cohabitation Intolerable

  • Two Years Separation After Legal Separation

How does the Divorce Process Start?

The divorce process begins with the filing of a document called a complaint.  The term “complaint” refers to the initial document filed with the court that describes the facts of the lawsuit and what it is the person filing the lawsuit wants the court to do.  In the case of a divorce, the complaint will set forth particular facts and then request the court grant a divorce, divide the property, set child support and alimony, and any other relief the filing party is requesting.  


Unlike most other types of cases, divorce cases must be filed in court, and the divorce complaint must be verified unless the complaint is accompanied by a verified marital dissolution agreement, meaning it must be signed under oath in front of a notary public.  Almost all other types of cases can be settled without needing to file anything in court and without involvement in the judicial process.  Because the state has an interest in families and marriage, divorces can only be granted by the state.  This is done by having a judge hear the evidence, determine whether a divorce is appropriate, and grant the divorce.  In the case of an uncontested divorce, the judge will review the agreement to ensure it is fair and equitable and if so, grant the divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.


All complaints for divorce must contain at least one of the above grounds for divorce.  Even when the parties have agreed on the terms of the divorce, at least the ground of irreconcilable differences must be listed.


Most complaints will list more than one ground for divorce.  Although most complaints filed before a settlement is reached contain only two grounds, inappropriate marital conduct, and irreconcilable differences, there is nothing that would keep a party from alleging other grounds as well.

Contact a Tennessee Divorce Attorney

Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation at our conveniently located offices in West and Middle Tennessee by calling us at 901-410-5490, or in Middle Tennessee by calling us at 615-656-7920, or by sending us an email at



bottom of page