Can Lying About Your Age Affect Your Divorce in Tennessee?

By Beverly Bird

Lying about facts can affect your divorce in any state, such as if you deny that you own certain assets. Lying about your age is not a pivotal factor that would generally affect issues such as property distribution or child custody in Tennessee. However, it might affect your grounds for divorce, and it could offer your spouse the option of filing for annulment instead. Under some circumstances, it could affect a claim for alimony.

Lying about facts can affect your divorce in any state, such as if you deny that you own certain assets. Lying about your age is not a pivotal factor that would generally affect issues such as property distribution or child custody in Tennessee. However, it might affect your grounds for divorce, and it could offer your spouse the option of filing for annulment instead. Under some circumstances, it could affect a claim for alimony.

Divorce Grounds

Tennessee recognizes a wide and creative assortment of divorce grounds, but lying about your age isn't one of them. However, there is a grounds that relates to cruel and inhuman treatment or "inappropriate marital conduct." If lying about your age caused your spouse considerable emotional suffering when he learned the truth, it's possible that this could substantiate grounds for divorce. Technically, Tennessee divorce judges are not supposed to consider marital misconduct when dividing property in a divorce. However, this doesn't guarantee that it wouldn’t influence a judge's opinion.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Underage Spouses

You must be at least 16 to marry in Tennessee unless you have court approval. However, if you're younger than 18, the court will notify your parents that you requested a marriage license, and you'll need parental consent. If you didn't meet these minimum age requirements and you managed to marry anyway by lying about your age, this is grounds for annulment, at least until you reach your eighteenth birthday. After this point, annulment depends on the specific circumstances of your marriage.

Annulment Due to Fraud

Lying about your age is also fraud, so it's grounds for annulment in Tennessee, even if you're not underage. For example, your spouse might not have married you had he known your true age. He may have believed you're close to being able to access a trust or retirement account, when in fact you're years away, which might adversely affect your marital finances. However, if your spouse continued to live with you after he learned the truth, this could void fraud as grounds for annulment.

Effect of Annulment

Annulment erases your marriage as though it never happened. In Tennessee, this means you are not eligible for alimony. Therefore, if a lie about your age gives your spouse grounds to annul your marriage rather than divorce you, it can conceivably have an economic impact on the end of your marriage.

Alimony Factors

Tennessee's statutes specifically allow judges to consider marital fault when deciding whether to award alimony. Therefore, even if your spouse files for divorce rather than annulment, your lie could still affect your ability to receive financial support post-divorce. The truth about your age could also affect your divorce if you're the spouse who might have to pay alimony. If you're nearing retirement, this could affect your income. The Tennessee Supreme Court decided in 2011 that a spouse's ability to pay is a crucial factor in determining alimony, so your true age could come as quite a negative surprise to your spouse.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
New Jersey Guidelines for Annulment

References

Related articles

Reasons an Annulment Will Be Approved

Annulment isn't a quick and easy fix to a bad marriage, although it's sometimes rumored to be. Much like fault-based divorces, you must prove certain grounds to the court before it will grant your request. These are legally acceptable reasons why your marriage can't or shouldn't continue. With all states now recognizing no-fault divorces -- where you don't have to prove wrongdoing on the part of your spouse -- getting the court to grant you an annulment is usually the more difficult process.

Valid Reasons for a Marriage Annulment in Texas

All courts need a reason to make rulings, so all lawsuits require grounds – something that has occurred that's contrary to the law. In Texas, you must have grounds for annulment just as you would for a divorce, but there's one major difference: you can get a no-fault divorce because your marriage isn't savable, but you can't get a no-fault annulment. If an annulment rather than a divorce is important to you, such as because of your religious beliefs, you'll have to do it the hard way by proving to the court that you have acceptable grounds under Texas law.

The Limitations for Getting an Annulment

Very few couples can annul their marriages -- it's usually much simpler to divorce instead. In most states, annulment is confined to very specific grounds and deadlines – and you can't get an annulment simply because you were married for only a short period of time unless other factors exist. An annulment voids your marriage as if it never existed, and this sometimes imposes additional limitations.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Annulment Laws in Kansas

Whereas a divorce ends a marriage, an annulment is a finding that the marriage was not valid and never existed. Grounds ...

What Is the Meaning When Your Annulment Is Denied?

If a court denies your petition for annulment, the good news is that it does not mean you have to remain married. The ...

What Is Considered Fraud for Annulment in Michigan?

In Michigan, as in most states, it may be easier to get a divorce than an annulment. This is particularly true if ...

Maryland Law Concerning Annulments

Divorce laws can be complicated and difficult to understand, but annulment laws are often even worse. This is ...

Browse by category