tn state law: ACTIVITIES prohibited PRIOR TO A DIVORCE being final

Under Tennessee state law, parties to a divorce may not engage in certain activities prior to the divorce being final.

Family Law | Alimony | Divorce Decree Modifications | Tennessee

Tennessee implemented a law in 2001 that prohibits parties in a divorce from doing certain things prior to the Judge granting the divorce. The specific injunctions, which apply only to the named parties in the divorce action, are listed in T.C.A. § 36-4-106(d). 


  • Marital Property. Transferring, assigning, borrowing against, concealing or in any way dissipating or disposing of any marital property, without the consent of the other party or an order of the court. Generally, the party must first get approval by the other party or the court before altering marital finances, property, etc.
  • Life insurance policies. Voluntarily cancelling, modifying, terminating, assigning or allowing to lapse for nonpayment of premiums on any insurance policy without the consent of the other party or the court. For example, one party to the divorce cannot change a named beneficiary to his/her life insurance policy without first getting approval from the other party or the court.
  • Keeping it civil. Harassing, threatening, assaulting, or abusing the other party and making disparaging remarks about the other to or in the presence of any children of the parties. Moreover, this restriction also applies to either party’s employer. In other words, the parties must not make any negative or cruel comments about one another to their children or their respective employer. This rule attempts to make the divorce as civil and cordial as possible.
  • Children. Relocating any children of the parties outside Tennessee, or more than 50 miles from the martial home, without approval from the other party or the court. However, a party may remove the children if it is based on a well-founded fear of physical abuse either toward the parent or children. If this occurs, the court may conduct a hearing to determine whether the relocation is appropriate.

Therefore, if any party violates or commits any of the acts specified above, the party maybe found in contempt of court. According to T.C.A. § 29-9-103, the court can issue a punishment of up to 10 days in jail, in addition to a maximum fine of $50.00.


facts to know

→   T.C.A. § 36-4-106(d): Specific injunctions that apply to named parties in the divorce action.

→   T.C.A. § 29-9-103: If any party violates or commits any of the prohibited acts, the party may be found in contempt of court.

→   Punishment: The court can mandate 10 days in jail and a fine of $50.00.

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