How Will Adultery Affect a Divorce in Tennessee?

Tennessee law allows for both “no-fault” and “at-fault” divorce. If you’re going to be involved in either type of divorce proceeding, seek the services and advice of a at the first possible opportunity.

Under the best circumstances, divorce isn’t easy, but if adultery is the reason for a divorce, a divorce proceeding is likely to turn bitter and acrimonious. If you and your spouse are divorcing because one of you had an affair, will that infidelity affect the outcome of your divorce?

Will you receive spousal support if your spouse had an affair? Or if you were the spouse involved in an affair, will you be allowed to receive spousal support? And when should you first contact a Tennessee divorce attorney?

These are difficult questions, and the divorce laws in Tennessee are quite complicated, but if you will keep reading, you’ll find at least some of the answers that you may be seeking about adultery, divorce, spousal support, and your rights during a divorce in the State of Tennessee.

Do You Need Grounds for Divorce in Tennessee?

Before there can be any discussion of adultery and its effect on a divorce in Tennessee, several basic facts about divorce in this state should be made clear.

Incompatibility is the only ground for divorce that is required in order to obtain a no-fault divorce in this state. A no-fault divorce will be faster and less costly than an at-fault divorce. And yes, adultery is a fault-based ground for divorce in Tennessee along with:

  1.  bigamy and desertion
  2.  impotence and infertility
  3.  habitual drug and/or alcohol abuse
  4.  cruel or inhuman treatment
  5.  a felony conviction and prison sentence
  6.  two or more years of separation (meaning separate residences)

Will Your Divorce Be Contested or Uncontested?

If the spouses can’t agree on the issues – the grounds for the divorce, the division of property and assets, spousal support payments, child custody, or child support payments – that disagreement means it’s a contested divorce, and these issues will have to be decided by the court.

An uncontested divorce will be faster and less costly than a contested divorce, and in Tennessee, a contested divorce takes place only if the spouses cannot agree on at least one of the issues.

When the spouses can reach an agreement on all of the issues, provided that the agreement is fair (and puts the best interests of any minor children above any other considerations), the court will sign off on that agreement and finalize the uncontested divorce.

When is Adultery a Consideration in a Tennessee Divorce Proceeding?

If your divorce is contested, adultery may be one of a number of factors that the court will consider. If you are seeking an at-fault divorce based on your partner’s infidelity, you and your attorney will need to present the court with evidence which substantiates that claim, such as:

  1.  copies of emails and texts
  2.  hotel receipts
  3.  telephone records
  4.  photographs and video

Have your lawyer advise you before you start gathering this kind of evidence. Otherwise, you could violate the electronic surveillance laws, make whatever evidence you compile that way inadmissible in court, and prejudice the court against you.

How Will Adultery Affect a Spousal Support Decision?

Whether or not one spouse committed adultery, there is never a guarantee that spousal support will be awarded in a Tennessee divorce. Judges in divorce proceedings have the discretion to issue orders for spousal support payments based on the unique facts and details of each case.

In a contested, at-fault divorce proceeding, it matters if one spouse is determined to be at-fault, and it can be an important consideration when the judge makes a decision about whether (or how much) spousal support should be ordered.

The main consideration is each spouse’s financial situation and how they will support themselves after a divorce. While no Tennessee law explicitly prevents you from receiving spousal support if you are the spouse who had an affair, the final decision will be up to the judge and will depend on how much “weight” is given to the adultery compared to the other factors in the divorce.

How Will a Divorce Lawyer Help You?

As soon as you decide or know that a divorce is going to happen, protect yourself, and immediately schedule a case evaluation with a – whether your divorce will be at-fault or no-fault, contested or uncontested, and whether or not adultery is involved.

In Tennessee, when there are grounds for an at-fault divorce, the best way to protect yourself, your children, and your long-term best interests is to ask an experienced Kingston divorce lawyer to evaluate your case – with no cost or obligation – before you take any action to begin a divorce.

Your divorce lawyer will see to it that you – and your children, if you’re a parent – are treated justly and fairly in a divorce proceeding and that your children, your rights, and your family’s best interests are fully protected.

What Else is Required to Divorce in Tennessee?

Before you can file for divorce in Tennessee, you must be a resident of the state for at least six months. If you are on active military duty and you are stationed in Tennessee, you may be considered a resident for the purpose of divorce if you have lived in the state for at least a year.

While residency in Tennessee is the only legal requirement for beginning the divorce process, you are going to need the advice, experience, and services of a Tennessee divorce lawyer who can negotiate the divorce settlement you need or win that settlement in a divorce proceeding.

Your lawyer must be sensitive to your needs but aggressive when fighting for your interests and rights. When you are ready to divorce, or if you know that the marriage is about to end, as quickly as possible, get the legal help you need.

How Can You Select the Right Divorce Attorney?

Your legal questions about divorce, the adultery factor, and spousal support can be answered by Kingston divorce attorney Tyler Davis at Davis Law Firm. He works diligently to ensure that his clients receive everything they are entitled to receive in a divorce proceeding.

Award-winning attorney Tyler Davis and the team at Davis Law Firm will handle every aspect of your case and provide you with sound legal advice throughout your divorce negotiations and proceeding.

Tyler Davis will fight aggressively to ensure that you keep and receive what is legally and rightfully yours. Learn more, or begin the legal process now, by calling the offices of Davis Law Firm at 865-354-3333. With offices in Kingston and Crossville, we are prepared to represent you.