Statute of Abandonment in Tennessee

By David Carnes

Tennessee, like other states, grants a divorce without the need to allege fault on the part of either spouse. Tennessee also grants a divorce for acts that were the fault of a spouse. Grounds for a no-fault or at-fault divorce based on abandonment may exist if the spouses are not living together. However, in a few select cases, these grounds may still be available to spouses who are still living together.

Irreconcilable Differences

If you can locate your spouse, obtaining a no-fault divorce in Tennessee might be easier even if your spouse abandoned you. In a no-fault divorce, you need only list "irreconcilable differences" without alleging the fault of either spouse, and without mentioning abandonment or any other grounds for divorce in your divorce petition. You may obtain a divorce on this ground even over your spouse's objections; the act of objecting to a divorce petition is itself evidence of an "irreconcilable difference."

No-Fault Abandonment

If you have no minor children and you have been living apart from your spouse for at least two years, you may petition a Tennessee state court to grant a no-fault divorce. You need not allege that your spouse abandoned you and you can obtain a divorce in this manner even if you were the one who abandoned your spouse.

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

Willful Desertion

Obtaining an at-fault divorce may help you secure terms of divorce that are more favorable to you. Willful desertion is one of the at-fault grounds for divorce in Tennessee. To establish willful desertion, you must show that your spouse willfully or maliciously deserted the marital residence for at least one year and you have been living apart during that time. You may be required to establish you attempted to locate your spouse. Your spouse must have deserted you; you cannot obtain a divorce on this ground if you were the one who deserted your spouse.

"Constructive Abandonment"

Your spouse has "constructively" abandoned you if his treatment of you amounts to the functional equivalent of physical abandonment, even if he still lives in the marital residence. Constructive abandonment may be based on several different at-fault grounds for divorce, including impotence, bigamy, indignities that make the petitioning spouse's life unbearable, cruel treatment, neglect and banning you from the marital residence.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Do-it-Yourself Divorce in Louisiana



Related articles

Divorce Laws in Tennessee Regarding Willful Desertion

If your motivation for seeking a divorce in Tennessee is because your husband or wife deserts you, the state’s family laws allow you to file for divorce on those grounds. However, there are certain requirements and burdens of proof you must satisfy to do so. And regardless of your grounds for divorce, Tennessee has a number of procedural guidelines that apply to all divorces.

How to File for an Annulment in Maryland

You can only file for annulment in Maryland if your marriage possesses certain defects. For example, if your spouse lied to you about being able to conceive children, if one or both of you were underage when you married, or if you were extremely intoxicated during the marriage ceremony, these issues would qualify as grounds for annulment. If your marriage involved bigamy or incest, filing for annulment may not even be necessary. You can simply walk away because such marriages are never legally valid in Maryland to begin with.

How to Write a Divorce Complaint in Tennessee

The process of filing for divorce in Tennessee begins when you file a divorce complaint, also known as a petition for divorce. Like all states, Tennessee provides for no-fault divorce, meaning that neither party has to show the other was at fault to obtain a divorce. If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your divorce, you can file for an uncontested, no-fault divorce. Your local court can provide all the divorce forms you'll need. You can also use an online legal documentation service to prepare and file all of your divorce paperwork.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

What Is Cruelty in Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?

Divorce in Maryland is separated into two categories: limited divorce, which is a court recognized separation; and ...

Grounds for Divorce on Mental Cruelty in Illinois

While marital discord is often mutual, sometimes one spouse bears the brunt of intentional and unreasonable mental and ...

Laws About Adultery & Abandonment

Adultery and abandonment are two common issues that can cause a marriage to end in divorce. Although all states will ...

Is There a Desertion Divorce Law in Mississippi?

Mississippi law permits spouses to obtain a divorce based on desertion, but only under certain circumstances. If your ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED