A person seeking to dissolve their marriage can file for a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. When filing for fault divorce, a spouse must cite inappropriate marital conduct, which can encompass abandonment, cruelty, and many other factors. In fault divorces, there is often a specific issue, like adultery, that people file their cases under.
Though it may be simpler to agree to cite irreconcilable differences in a no-fault divorce, an individual may want to prove their spouse’s misconduct in court. If you feel that you have been wronged by your spouse and you have decided to dissolve your marriage, a Chattanooga fault divorce lawyer could help.
State law lists many acceptable reasons that can be cited in a fault divorce. For example, in Chattanooga, intentionally marrying another spouse without divorcing their first spouse can be grounds for a fault divorce, as well as committing adultery. Some of the most common faults that can warrant a divorce include:
Willful or malicious desertion or the absence of either party without reasonable cause for one whole year can be cited in a fault divorce. If one of the parties has resided in Tennessee for at least two years, they could file for divorce on those grounds. Alternatively, they could file under desertion if they have been absent for just one year.
If someone is cruel or inhumane to their spouse, it would be appropriate to file the divorce case under inappropriate marital conduct. For behavior to be cruel or inhumane, a person’s actions toward their spouse would have to make cohabitation unsafe and improper, which can also be cited in the pleadings as inappropriate marital conduct.
Prison confinement could be categorized as inappropriate marital conduct in a fault divorce if a party has been incarcerated for a period of time. A spouse could also be faulted for being convicted of a felony.
If one spouse is unable to have sexual intercourse, that could be used as a fault in a divorce case. State law provides that, in order for the issue to be used as grounds for divorce, either party at the time of the marriage was, and remains, naturally impotent and incapable of procreation.
A skilled local lawyer who is experienced in fault divorce cases could examine the specific circumstances of a couple’s marriage and determine if any of these faults were committed.
In fault divorce cases, the person claiming the grounds against the other party must prove their allegations in court. For example, if the grounds are adultery, the complainant needs to prove that the adultery occurred by either admission of the other party or the testimony of the person who they committed adultery with. The accused party could then have the chance to refute these claims and provide evidence to show that this conduct did not occur. While the initial burden lays with the person making the allegation, the defending party has a right to make their defense. A knowledgeable attorney in the area could help either party bring the necessary proof to the fault divorce case.
The legal landscape can be complex and difficult to navigate for someone who does not have experience in this area of law, and these cases are often contentious and highly emotional. An experienced Chattanooga fault divorce attorney could help you through your case and give you peace of mind while you move forward to this new phase in your life. Schedule an initial consultation today.