You can oppose a divorce. However, if you do so your spouse must prove 'fault' to be granted a divorce. Tennessee is an at fault state meaning if one party privy to a divorce action refuses a divorce the court may grant a divorce if the moving party proves by a preponderance of the evidence the non-moving party is guilty of the fault ground(s) relied upon. The following are the only fault grounds available to be plead in Tennessee for a divorce:
(1) Either party, at the time of the contract, was and still is naturally impotent and incapable of procreation;
(4) Willful or malicious desertion or absence of either party, without a reasonable cause, for one (1) whole year;
(5) Being convicted of any crime that, by the laws of the state, renders the party infamous;
(6) Being convicted of a crime that, by the laws of the state, is declared to be a felony, and sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary;
(7) Either party has maliciously attempted the life of the other;
(8) Refusal, on the part of a spouse, to remove with that person's spouse to this state, without a reasonable cause, and being willfully absent from the spouse residing in Tennessee for two (2) years;
(9) The woman was pregnant at the time of the marriage, by another person, without the knowledge of the husband;
(10) Habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotic drugs of either party, when the spouse has contracted either such habit after marriage;
(11) The husband or wife is guilty of such cruel and inhuman treatment or conduct towards the spouse as renders cohabitation unsafe and improper, which may also be referred to in pleadings as inappropriate marital conduct;
(12) The husband or wife has offered such indignities to the spouse's person as to render the spouse's position intolerable, and thereby forced the spouse to withdraw;
(13) The husband or wife has abandoned the spouse or turned the spouse out of doors for no just cause, and has refused or neglected to provide for the spouse while having the ability to so provide;
(14) Irreconcilable differences between the parties; and
(15) For a continuous period of two (2) or more years that commenced prior to or after April 18, 1985, both parties have lived in separate residences, have not cohabited as man and wife during such period, and there are no minor children of the parties.
If your spouse relies on one of these grounds in a contested divorce trial and loses then the court legally will not grant a divorce. However, the resulting trauma and possible destruction to the relationship caused by the hearing could most likely produce an agreed divorce soon thereafter. In almost every divorce case, the parties stipulate to #(14) Irreconcilable differences which is an agreed divorce.
If your spouse is asking you for a divorce you do not want, call your experienced and trusted family lawyer. Let us put our years of experience to work for you.
I am James M. "Jim" Judkins and for a decade family law has been a big part of my practice. I enjoy helping people. Located in the heart of Murfreesboro and in Smithville, Tennessee, I represent clients in family law situations all throughout Tennessee. Helping people successfully through the some of the most turbulent times of their lives gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from James M. Judkins, attorney or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient's state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.