Establishing Alimony During Divorce

Tennessee alimony can be awarded for either a temporary period of time, transitional period of time or permanently so that the spouse receiving the money can continue to live in the manner they were accustomed to during the marriage.   Alimony is also awarded for rehabilitation so that the spouse may be able to receive training to obtain a job to support them self or to balance out a division of property over time.  There are no exact formulas for determining Tennessee alimony.  The court favors the parties determining alimony, child custody, child visitation and parental rights on their own. If the parties are unable to determine these issues, then the court will determine alimony and any other issues necessary for them.  You must ask for alimony at the time you are filing for divorce.  The court will not award it after your divorce becomes final.  It is recommended that you consult with a Tennessee family law attorney to assist you with your divorce proceeding and to advise you of your rights and obligations under Tennessee divorce laws.  

Calculating Alimony

The court looks at the following factors to determine alimony:

  • Earning capacity of each party
  • Financial obligations, resources and needs of each party  
  • Education and ability to receive training
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age, physical and mental condition of the parties
  • Whether there are any minor children at home
  • Assets and liabilities of the parties
  • Marital property division
  • The parties’ standard of living during their marriage
  • Tangible and intangible contributions of each party to the marriage
  • Tax consequences
  • Any fault of the parties

Alimony can be made part of the settlement agreement and divorce decree.  Alimony may be modified depending on changes in the financial situation of the parties.   

Different Types of Alimony

Temporary support may be awarded by requesting a hearing for alimony and/or child support. The temporary support is only in effect prior to the final decree of divorce. Transitional alimony lasts for a specified time period.  An example of traditional alimony is that it stops when the spouse receiving the alimony remarries.  Permanent alimony is for an indefinite period of time. Alimony terminates upon the death of either party.

To make sure the payment of alimony is secure, the court may provide that the paying spouse purchase a life insurance policy listing the recipient spouse as the beneficiary in the event the paying spouse passes away.     

Attorney Assistance

Tennessee divorces can be complex.  It is recommended that you hire a Tennessee family law attorney to advise you about alimony and other support issues as well as custody and visitation and property division rights.

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