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How Does Work Alimony in Tennessee?

The Types of Alimony

There are four types of Alimony in Tennessee. Rehabilitative alimony is favored by statute and is intended to rehabilitate the economically disadvantaged spouse so that the spouse can re-enter or move up in the workforce. Transitional alimony is paid for a specific period of time and is intended to transition the spouse out of the marriage. Periodic or Alimony in futuro is normally used when rehabilitation is not feasible and/or the spouse needs long-term ongoing support. Alimony in solido is lump sum alimony (but it may be paid over time) and is a form of either long-term support or used as payment for attorney fees.

The Alimony Factors

The Court looks at many factors, including: relative earning capacities and financial resources; education, training and skills; duration of the marriage; age and health of each party; childcare/child raising issues; separate assets; division of marital property; standard of living during the marriage; tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage; relative fault; tax consequences; and other factors the court deems relevant. Child support, once set, is also a factor because it can reduce one party’s income and raise the other’s.

What Happens At Trial or Hearing

In order to determine either temporary (during the divorce) or final (post-divorce) alimony, a Court will ask that each party provide proof of income and earnings and all expenses. This is done in the form of Affidavits of Income and Expenses. These show your gross income, all deductions and all expenses on a monthly basis. This is why knowing and/or researching your budget can be very important from the beginning. If you overlook expenses or exaggerate them, that can result in long-term consequences.

How do Attorney’s Fees Work in a Divorce?

An award of attorney’s fees in Tennessee is normally considered alimony in solido and there must be an ability to pay (payor) and a need (payee). There are exceptions, such as when a spouse is in contempt or violates a court order. In that case, the innocent spouse may be able to recoup their lawyer fees for pursuing those actions and that would not be considered alimony.

There is a lot at stake with a divorce, don’t make the mistake of trying to handle it on your own. If you have questions about alimony in Tennessee, or any other question about your divorce – contact a skilled Knoxville divorce attorney for help at Easter & DeVore, Attorneys at Law, to discuss your situation and your options.


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