Serving Clients in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon, Sevier & Roane Counties

Irreconcilable Differences as Grounds for Divorce


Thursday, March 26th, 2020


“Irreconcilable differences” is a ground for divorce in Tennessee that many couples try to cite as the basis of their divorce. The phrase brings to mind a marriage broken beyond repair, but the legal requirements for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences are a bit more complicated.

It is easiest to think of irreconcilable differences as indicating an agreed-upon divorce, because the parties must agree on all facets of the divorce for it to fall under the category of irreconcilable differences. This includes the following:

  1. Both parties must want and agree to the divorce;
  2. Both parties must agree that the marriage is broken beyond repair (neither are required to provide evidence that the marriage is irreconcilable);
  3. Both parties must enter into an agreed marital dissolution agreement that divides all of the assets and debts of the marriage between the parties in an equitable manner;
  4. The agreed marital dissolution agreement must address if there will be alimony or not. If there is going to be alimony, both parties must agree on the amount and duration of said alimony payments; and
  5. If there are children, both parties must enter into an agreed permanent parenting plan that adequately provides for the custody, care, and support of the children. This includes a child support worksheet with an agreed amount of child support.

Even if parties initially begin in a contested divorce, the end result can be a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. Whenever all the requirements listed above are satisfied and the parties are in agreement, the divorce may be granted based on irreconcilable differences.