Alimony is one of the major concerns for both parties going through a divorce. The term “alimony” refers to the payments that the court may order one spouse to make to another, who is declared to be “economically disadvantaged.” Tennessee law allows for several different types of alimony, and Nashville judges must consider many factors in deciding an alimony award. Some types of alimony may be modified by the court if one of the ex-spouses demonstrates a substantial change in their circumstances.

If you are interested in either requesting alimony or opposing such a request, or would like to seek the modification of an alimony award, please read the information below and contact Amanda Raye Thornton as soon as possible for a detailed evaluation of the particular circumstances of your case.

Types of Alimony in Tennessee

Rehabilitative. In Tennessee, “Rehabilitative” alimony is designed to restore a spouse’s earning capacity to the point where he/she is no longer economically disadvantaged in comparison to the other spouse. For instance, if the disadvantaged spouse wants to return to school to complete a degree, or wants to train for a certain occupation, the other spouse may be ordered to pay a specific amount per month until the disadvantaged spouse has completed that designated plan. This type of alimony may also be extended if the recipient demonstrates that he or she has made all reasonable efforts toward rehabilitation but has been unsuccessful to that point. Rehabilitative alimony is the preferred type of alimony in Tennessee: if one spouse can be economically rehabilitated, this type of alimony will be considered first by the courts.

In Futuro. is the traditional form of alimony that most people are familiar with. It is a fixed amount of money that one spouse must pay to the other, at specified intervals, for an indefinite amount of time. For instance, one spouse may be ordered to pay the other $2,000 per month until there is a substantial change in the spouses’ personal circumstances or until the receiving spouse remarries.

In Solido. refers to a specific sum that may be agreed upon by the spouses or awarded by a judge as alimony. For example, $40,000 may be awarded to one party, to be paid by the other spouse either in as a lump sum or in installments.

Transitional. Sometimes a newly divorced party does not need long-term support but does need some time to get back on his or her feet and become independent. In these situations, the spouse may be awarded “transitional” alimony—generally a specific amount paid for a designated period. For example, a transitional alimony award may be $1,000 per month for a total of 12 months.

Multiple Types. A disadvantaged spouse may request and receive more than one form of alimony. For example, if one spouse has not worked for several years and would also like to retrain, that spouse may receive both Rehabilitative and In Futuro alimony.

Factors to Be Considered. When determining which spouse should receive alimony and what the amount of alimony should be, judges in Tennessee must consider a wide variety of factors:

  1. The relative earning capacity of the spouses;
  2. The obligations, needs, and financial resources of both;
  3. The duration of the marriage;
  4. The parties’ age and mental condition;
  5. Both parties’ physical condition;
  6. The need for a custodian of a minor child;
  7. Each spouse’s separate assets;
  8. Any provisions made with regard to marital property;
  9. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  10. Each spouse’s tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage;
  11. The relative fault of the parties;
  12. The tax consequences of various types of alimony.

Whether you are considering getting a divorce or are in the midst of a divorce process, we can help you address any issues related to alimony.

To schedule a consultation, please call us at (615) 470-2222, email us, or fill out and submit our online “Contact Us” form.

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