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Inappropriate Marital Conduct

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I was listening to a national podcast that mentioned a celebrity that had filed for divorce in Tennessee. The podcaster said, “she listed grounds for divorce as ‘inappropriate marital conduct,’ so you can guess what that means.”

No, you really can’t. It doesn’t mean adultery. It doesn’t mean anything in particular, really.

The statute which lists all the grounds possible (T.C.A. 36-4-101) includes “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.”

That sounds pretty terrible, but if you receive divorce papers accusing you of inappropriate marital conduct, you’re not being accused of anything in particular, or really anything all that bad (necessarily). To a divorce lawyer, those words don’t mean anything other than grounds for divorce. I heard a judge once say that all married people married longer than 48 hours are guilty of inappropriate marital conduct.

So don’t freak out! At least not yet. Get in touch so we can talk about what inappropriate marital conduct means in your case.

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