Legal Memorandum: Appellate Review of a Divorce Order in TN

Issue: What is the standard of appellate review for a divorce order in Tennessee?

Area of Law: Family Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Divorce order; Standard of appellate review
Jurisdiction: Tennessee
Cited Cases: 838 S.W.2d 206; 833 S.W.2d 911
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2001

          Divorce orders, like other written instruments and court opinions must be construed in accordance with the intent of the parties and the court.  Hale v. Hale, 838 S.W.2d 206, 208-09 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1992).  Under Tennessee law, the appellate court reviews a trial court’s decision in a divorce action de novo on the record, applying a presumption of correctness with regard to the trial court’s findings of fact.  Smith v. Smith, 912 S.W.2d 155, 157 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995); Hazard v. Hazard, 833 S.W.2d 911, 913 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1991).  Absent an error of law and unless the evidence preponderates against the trial court’s findings, the court of appeals must affirm.  Id. at 913.


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