Fault is a more broad statement than just adultery or cheating. In Tennessee law, there are three defenses to adultery as grounds for divorce: recrimination, condonation, and connivance.
When a defense is proven, the court may not find grounds for divorce or may lessen the effects of fault on the alimony determination. Recrimination involves proving the other spouse also committed adultery. Condonation involves proving that a spouse forgave the adultery by having marital relations after learning of the affair. Connivance involves actively assisting the spouse in the adulterous conduct, such as paying for the sexual relations or otherwise participating in a spouse’s prostitution. These defenses can involve a wide variety of circumstances.