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Does adultery affect divorce in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2017 | Divorce

Unfortunately, marriages do not always have happy endings. In 2016, there were over 25,000 recorded divorces in the state of Tennessee, according to the state’s Department of Health.

There are numerous factors that can affect the outcome of a divorce One of these can be adultery during the marriage.

Marital conduct

Tennesse is not a no-fault divorce state. In some states, it does not matter what factors led to a divorce. However, in Tennessee, each spouse’s conduct during the marriage can come into play in court. Regardless of what side of the adultery a spouse falls on, it is important to understand how this act will factor into the divorce proceedings.

Proving adultery

When one partner accuses the other of adultery, he or she needs to back that claim up with evidence. Eyewitness testimony, such as one spouse walking in on the other cheating, does count for something. More solid evidence can help greatly with the claim, such as phone or text records. Other elements of the adultery can also make a case, such as whether the spouse spent a lot of money on the third party.

The impact on divorce proceedings

Adultery mostly impacts the allocation of alimony. For example, if the spouse who earns more money proves the other person cheated, then he or she may use that as evidence to get out of paying money every month to an adulterer.

However, a court typically grants this only under certain circumstances. Take this scenario: one spouse cheated on the other, but the other spouse forgave the partner, and they continued living together. After some time, the couple divorces due to unrelated reasons to the adultery. The spouse who was cheated on brings up the affair in court to get out of paying alimony. In this situation, the adultery likely will not matter, because that act was not the primary cause for the separation.


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