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Contested Divorce

Contested Divorce in Tennessee

Jackson attorneys advise on contested vs. uncontested marriage dissolution

Sometimes, the process of finalizing divorce arrangements is simple. Should you and your spouse agree on child custody, visitation, child support, property division and alimony, you can submit your marital settlement agreement to the court and obtain an uncontested divorce. Unfortunately, there are cases where consensus cannot be reached, resulting in litigation. At Grant & Sain, PLLC in Jackson, we are proven Tennessee attorneys who have the skill and determination to handle your contested divorce effectively.

Fault-based and no-fault divorce grounds under Tennessee law

Tennessee offers divorcing spouses the ability to seek divorce on a no-fault basis or to break their legal marital bond based on a spouse’s misconduct. This does not necessarily affect whether the terms of a divorce will be contested or uncontested. A spouse can obtain a no-fault divorce by declaring that there are irreconcilable differences between the parties. Childless couples can also dissolve their marriage following a two-year separation.

You might wish to pursue a fault-based divorce to secure a more favorable order or to create a legal record declaring why your marriage ended. Fault grounds that can be used in Tennessee include:

  • Adultery — Many marriages end due to infidelity. However, you cannot use this ground if you also had sexual relations with someone other than your spouse, even after a separation. Even if your husband or wife had an affair, you might seek to avoid the burden of proving adultery and seek a no-fault divorce instead.
  • Desertion — Divorce can be granted based on the fact that one spouse has left the family home and refused to return for at least a year.
  • Felony conviction — Spouses of individuals who are convicted of felonies and sentenced to prison may dissolve their marriage on that ground.
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment — Physical, verbal or emotional abuse can support a petition for divorce based on cruel and inhuman treatment.
  • Substance abuse — If your husband or wife has a serious drug or alcohol habit, this can be used to terminate your marriage as long as you were not aware of their substance abuse issue at the time you were wed.
  • Bigamy — A wedding where one of the participants is already married to someone else is void from the start. Bigamy can be a divorce ground if someone who was married legally purports to wed a third party.

After discussing your situation and goals, you will have the information you need to decide how your marriage dissolution should proceed.

What to know if you are involved in a contested divorce

Though it is more likely that parties with serious emotional conflicts will disagree over financial and parenting terms, parties can often remain civil during a contested divorce, even one that goes to trial. Our family lawyers strive to keep clients and their exes focused on finalizing their divorce rather than rehashing old arguments. Don’t be afraid to refuse if your husband or wife is making demands that you don’t want to accept. We are here to stand up for your rights during settlement discussions and litigation.

Contact a Tennessee family lawyer for advice on your contested divorce

Grant & Sain, PLLC provides comprehensive legal counsel for Tennessee residents in contested divorces and other family law proceedings. You can learn about your legal options by calling 731-256-7477 or contacting us online. Our office is in Jackson.

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    2817 N. Highland Ave.
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    Jackson, Tennessee 38305
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