Obtaining Alimony in Tennessee Divorce Cases

alimony lawyer nashville tn

Tough representation in Tennessee spousal support disputes

Tennessee authorizes different types of alimony depending on the ability of the spouse who cannot earn a current living to get and keep a paying job. Many spouses supported their husband or wife by taking care of the children, maintaining the marital home, and working to create friends and relationships throughout the community - while the other spouse was earning a paycheck. Many spouses, with some help, can enter or get back into the workforce quickly. Other spouses, such as those with a disability or who are much older, have little or no ability to ever earn a sustainable income.

At The Law Office Of Tara Carter, our Middle Tennessee alimony lawyers are respected family law trial attorneys. We understand the factors used to determine eligibility for alimony and what evidence must be shown to prove those factors apply or do not apply in your case. We negotiate fair settlements but try your case in court if your spouse is not being cooperative. Our lawyers have been fighting for spouses for nearly 10 years.

The four types of alimony in Tennessee

Tennessee provides for the following types of alimony depending on the circumstances of the spouses. Generally, a spouse gets just one of the four kinds of alimony but sometimes multiple types can be awarded:

  • Rehabilitative alimony. This alimony type is used to help a spouse obtain an education or job training skills so they can be trained or retrained to be able to get a job. Being able to work means the ability to earn an income that is comparable to that of the working spouse. The duration of the alimony varies depending on how long the judge thinks it will take the non-working spouse to acquire the education and/or new job skills. The order to pay alimony ends when the term assigned by the judge ends or one spouse dies.
  • Alimony in Futuro (also known as periodic alimony). Here, the idea is not to rehabilitate the spouse. Rather, it is to provide the non-working spouse a periodic payment (monthly, for example) so they can have an appropriate living standard. This type of award is usually reserved for a spouse who is disabled or where the chances of being able to enter/reenter the workforce are small. Alimony in futuro is usually indefinite/long-term. It ends if either spouse dies. It also ends if the spouse receiving alimony remarries. It can end if the recipient spouse is being supported by someone else.
  • Transitional Alimony. This is basically short-term alimony for a definite period. It is used when a spouse does not need to be rehabilitated but does need time to find a job or adjust to the immediate consequences of the divorce. This kind of alimony also ends if either spouse dies or if the spouse remarries.
  • Alimony in Solido. Here, there is no periodic payment. Instead, the non-working spouse receives a lump sum payment which is essentially a current payment of the amount that would normally be paid long-term. The lump sum can, however, be divided into installments.

Factors the Court Considers in Making an Alimony Order

Our Middle Tennessee alimony attorneys assert every factor in your favor and contest those factors that aren't. The key factors in alimony dispute cases are:

  • Earning capacity. The ability of each spouse to earn a living and pay their bills. The family court reviews each spouse's income, tax returns, business income, retirement benefits, and all other income sources.
  • Skills and education. Every job requires that the applicant have the necessary education and job talents. Prior experience or lack of experience is also a key factor which must be considered.
  • How long the spouses were married. Spouses in longer marriages generally obtain more alimony.
  • The health, well-being, and age of each spouse. Younger and more physically fit spouses have a better chance of getting a good job than older disabled spouses.
  • The children. The ability to take care of the children, especially younger children, must be considered.
  • The financial circumstances of each party. The equitable division of the property does affect the alimony award.
  • Fault. If one spouse was at fault for the divorce, then the other spouse's odds of getting a significant alimony award increase.
Other alimony factors include the standard of living of the spouses while married, the contributions of each spouse to the ability of the other spouse to earn a living, and the tax consequences of the support awards.

Alimony is a payment in addition to equitable distribution of marital assets. At The Law Office Of Tara Carter, our Middle Tennessee alimony lawyers explain that equitable distribution is what sets the financial playing field. It is alimony or a job that allows a spouse to pay the ongoing bills, save, and have money to enjoy life and support a family. We fight to get nonworking spouses a just alimony award. To review your case now, please phone our firm at 615-495-6000 or fill out our online contact form to make an appointment. Our lawyers advise residents of Brentwood, Hendersonville, Nashville, Goodlettsville, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, and the surrounding locations.