We frequently receive questions from people that are either in the process of divorce or are soon to begin a divorce. We have decided to share some of those questions and answers here for those of you that may benefit from this information.
Here’s a question that we recently received and answered:
Can a wife claim abandonment in TN if husband has not lived at home for 1 month?
“Wife of 6 yrs has become addicted to drugs and children were removed from the home as a result. Husband moved out of home as well after being told by family court he should not allow the children to have contact with their mother until she fulfills treatment. The home has been under Chapt. 13 bankruptcy for over 2 yrs. Wife has been a stay at home mother for 1.5 yrs. She is now threatening to file for spouse abandonment to have husband’s wages garnished in order to keep the home as residence and provide herself with income. Husband has bank statements and records showing he has provided income to her while he has been absent from the home. The situation has been ongoing for just over 1 month.”
By Harold E. Rushton, Attorney at Law
You have posed some interesting questions regarding divorce and separation. First, the answer to your main question is no. One month is an insufficient period of time to establish abandonment grounds for divorce in Tennessee. The law in Tennessee states the parties must reside separate and apart for at least (2) two years to establish abandonment grounds for divorce in Tennessee.
The facts as you have presented them do provide potential grounds for divorce of which the husband could raise. Those grounds are drug addiction by the wife. Under Tennessee law, habitual drunkenness or abuse of narcotic drugs of either party, when the spouse has contracted either such habit after marriage are sufficient grounds for divorce.
If the husband is the primary parent, once he files for divorce, he may file a pendente lite action to seek support from the wife if she is failing to contribute support to the minor children and the burden is solely his to support the children. Whether relief is granted will depend upon his and her earning power, assets maintained by each party, etc. Those are all fact specific and must be determined by the court after hearing all of the facts of the case.
You really need to seek the advice of an attorney regarding this matter. Here at The Rushton Law Firm, PLLC, we focus on divorce and separation so we can guide you through this process and help to protect your rights along the way. I hope that I have been helpful in answering your questions. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you should have any further questions. We are located here in Davidson County, Tennessee and are happy to assist any time. I wish you all the best in the outcome of your case.
Harold E. Rushton, Esq. is a Nashville, Tennessee based Divorce, Separation and Criminal Defense Attorney serving Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Dickson and Wilson Counties.
The Rushton Law Firm, PLLC Phone: (615)576-0071 or (615)815-9967