In: Family Law0

How Much Does an Affair Cost in Tennessee?

If you have had an extramarital affair and are now in the process of divorce, will you pay a higher price for your actions? Does the act of adultery come into play in divorce proceedings? In short, how much does an affair cost in Tennessee?

Adultery serves as grounds for divorce in Tennessee

When filing for divorce in Tennessee, the spouse must cite grounds for divorce and those grounds must be proven before a divorce can be granted. There is an exception, however, when both spouses agree to all the terms of the divorce, and they sign appropriate settlement documents, then the court can grant a divorce based on grounds of irreconcilable differences, and the parties will not have to tell the court what went wrong in their marriage.

In Tennessee, the act of adultery serves as grounds for divorce, along with the following grounds (among others):

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Impotence
  • Alcohol or drug abuse when the habit is acquired after the marriage
  • Malicious or willful desertion, without reasonable cause, for a period of one year
  • A felony conviction and prison sentence
  • Attempted murder of the spouse
  • Inappropriate marital conduct

Child custody in Tennessee

The Tennessee courts are guided by what is deemed to be in the best interests of the child when making child custody determinations. The courts have wide discretion in making this decision and must consider a range of factors that are set forth in the state law. For the most part, adultery is not looked upon favorably by the courts. But the impact that the adultery may have on child custody decisions depends upon the individual circumstances of the case, and to what degree the parent’s adultery was a direct part of the child’s life.

Does adultery impact alimony in Tennessee?

Does adultery have an impact on alimony in Tennessee? Yes, it can. State law states that the two most important factors in alimony are whether one spouse has a need for alimony and whether the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony. However, state law lists a whole set of factors that can also affect alimony, and one of those factors is the fault of the other spouse in the break-up of the marriage. When a spouse has committed adultery during the marriage, the Tennessee courts can deny that spouse alimony during the divorce, or could reduce the amount of alimony the spouse would receive. And if the adulterous spouse was the primary wage-earner, they won’t automatically be made to pay more alimony because of their fault. If your spouse committed adultery and you want to prevent them from receiving alimony, you must demonstrate that the adultery was the cause of the marriage’s failure, but the issues of need and ability to pay will still be big considerations. If, however, your spouse committed adultery but you had sex with the spouse after knowing about the adultery, it will be deemed that you forgave them, and then the adultery would no longer be a basis for getting a divorce.

Questions regarding grounds for divorce and how adultery affects divorce? Consult with an experienced Franklin divorce attorney

When you are confronting divorce, it is not uncommon to have numerous questions regarding the divorce process – from the effects of adultery on divorce, to the rules on child custody. It is important to understand your rights under the law, how the divorce process works, and the various elements of a divorce. I am family law attorney Judy A. Oxford, and I am available to answer your questions and address your concerns. With more than 30 years of experience, I handle each case personally. Contact me by calling 615-791-8511 or online to arrange for a confidential consultation to discuss your situation.

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