2000 Mallory Lane Suite 130-386
Franklin, Tennessee 37067

1 (615) 472-8845

Irreconcilable Differences Divorce in Tennessee

An irreconcilable differences divorce is one in which more specific grounds for divorce do not need to be proven.  This is the typical basis for an uncontested divorce in Tennessee, and similar to the concept of a “no-fault” divorce in other jurisdictions.

Even if your lawsuit begins as a contested divorce, in negotiating a settlement, the parties may very well agree to enter into a marital dissolution agreement and to conclude their marriage on the basis of irreconcilable differences.  Although a divorce action necessarily involves a lot of emotion and disappointment, once the parties get past their initial frustration, many find that an irreconcilable differences divorce is the most effective, efficient and economical basis to end their marriage.  Reasons include:

  1. Unless your spouse is willing to concede one of the more specific grounds for divorce, you will have the burden of proving those grounds.  This responsibility can be expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining.  If you and your spouse can otherwise agree to all of the necessary elements of your divorce, continuing to litigate the grounds may have little value.
  2. While the grounds for your divorce are very real and personal to you, ultimately they often have very little effect on the actual outcome of the case.  For example, if your spouse committed adultery it is obvious that their actions are a very painful betrayal of your marriage.  That said, in Tennessee, the factors the Court will use in dividing your marital assets and debts do not include the grounds upon which the divorce is based.  And while the Court may consider the grounds for divorce when making decisions on spousal support or child custody (particularly when the child has been directly exposed to the adultery), the fact is that they are usually minor considerations at best.
  3. People often have a very natural desire to be heard, for their heartache to be validated, and to punish their spouse for the emotional and economic devastation that they have brought upon the marriage.  While you may relish the idea of showing the world what a terrible person your spouse is, legal proceedings are a matter of public record and could have unintended consequences that adversely affect you and/or your children in the future – particularly in the internet age.  Long after you have happily moved on, the accusations that have become a part of the permanent record may affect your spouse’s ability to keep or seek employment (and therefore pay child or spousal support).
If you have any questions regarding this or any other issues, please feel free to call me at the number listed above, send an email, or use the contact form.
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