Tennessee Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

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Tennessee law allows a court to order alimony or spousal support upon dissolution of marriage if it is necessary or would make the divorce more equitable. The court will determine alimony on a case-by-case basis.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary – as needed during the period prior to final divorce.
  • Short-Term –as needed for a spouse to allow a party to prepare for reentry into the job market.
  • Long-Term or Permanent –as needed, particularly in the case of a lengthy marriage.

Who is Eligible for Alimony in Tennessee

Tennessee courts may grant alimony to either a husband or a wife during dissolution if the court finds that doing so would be just.

Tennessee Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)

  • Earning capacity, obligations, needs, and financial resources of each party, including income from pension, profit-sharing or retirement plans and all other sources;
  • Education and training of each party, ability and opportunity of each party to secure such education and training, and necessity of a party to secure further education and training to improve earning capacity;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Age and mental condition of each party;
  • Physical condition of each party, including physical disability or incapacity due to a chronic, debilitating disease;
  • Whether it would be undesirable for a party to seek employment outside the home due to being custodian of a minor child of the marriage;
  • Standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Contributions to the marriage;
  • Contributions by a party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other;
  • Tax consequences;
  • Fault of the parties in cases where the court deems it appropriate to consider; and
  • Other factors necessary in the interests of justice.

Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Tennessee

A material change of circumstances is grounds for petitioning the court to order a termination or modification of an alimony award. The remarriage of a receiving spouse or cohabitation is often sufficient. Also, changes in earnings of either spouse may also warrant such an order.

Marital Fault in Tennessee

Tennessee courts will consider the fault of either or both parties in the breakdown of the marriage when determining whether to grant alimony.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Tennessee?

The duration of support payments will depend on the length of the marriage, the needs of the parties, the incomes of the parties, whether there are any dependent children from the marriage and any other factors the court deems relevant to the case.

Tennessee Alimony Taxes

Federal law requires that a spouse receiving mandated alimony payments report them as income for tax purposes. The paying spouse may also claim the payments as a deduction.

Find an Alimony Attorney in Tennessee

Divorce is a difficult and emotional process. A Tennessee attorney can help by advising you of your rights, helping you approach the process with a strategy, and advocating on your behalf. By getting the help of a family law attorney, you will be able to move on with your life.

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