Every state has different laws when it comes to the specifics of divorce. In some states, if one spouse cheated on the other, this factor does not affect the divorce proceedings or outcome one way or the other. However, in Tennessee, cheating can have an effect on a divorce case.

If you are facing a divorce and either you cheated on your spouse or your spouse cheated on you, you should understand the basics of Tennessee divorce law in your case. Although only a qualified divorce attorney can fully evaluate your situation, here is some basic information that can give you a head start before you have a legal consultation.

Fault and no-fault divorces 

In Tennessee, the courts classify divorce under two categories: fault and no-fault. As the name suggests, a fault divorce is one in which one of the spouses has done something wrong for which she or he is at fault in the divorce. As you might expect, in a no-fault divorce, the court determines neither party is at fault related to the divorce. 

Grounds for a fault divorce vary, but include factors such as bigamy, committing a felony, and adultery. The law even views dating while going through divorce as grounds for fault, because technically you are not yet divorced.

Adultery and alimony

Alimony is a form of spousal support. Unlike in other states that use specific formulas to figure out how much alimony assign, in Tennessee, calculating alimony is not subject to a formula. That means the court takes many factors into consideration, including the length of the marriage and the spouses’ incomes. Committing adultery during your divorce proceedings can affect the amount of alimony the court assigns, either up or down depending on whether you are the one who will receive alimony or pay alimony.

When adultery is an issue in your divorce, you must proceed with caution. Consult with an experienced family law attorney to better understand your particular situation and how cheating may affect the outcome of your divorce proceedings.