How is Alimony Determined in Tennessee?
Anyone thinking about divorce will likely consider the issue of alimony at one point or another. You may think you are entitled to receive alimony, or you might be worried that your spouse will make an unfair request for it. If you do not understand the alimony laws of the state, the issue is very stressful. Below, one of our Franklin alimony attorneys explains the important laws you need to know.
What is Alimony?
Also sometimes known as spousal support, alimony is money one spouse pays to the other after divorce. An alimony order can be issued so one spouse receives payments during divorce proceedings, after the case is finalized, or both. Alimony is different from child support. While child support is meant to financially support children after divorce, alimony is intended to support a spouse who is in need of it.
Courts can award alimony in any divorce or legal separation proceeding, but they cannot award it to people who were never married. For example, if a boyfriend and girlfriend only lived together, one of them cannot pursue alimony if the relationship fails.
Who Can Receive Alimony?
Someone can receive alimony during divorce proceedings if they can show that they are at an economical disadvantage compared to their spouse. Judges will consider two main factors when deciding whether to grant alimony and they are as follows:
- The need of one party for financial support during or after divorce proceedings, and
- The ability of the other spouse to pay alimony.
A spouse who is considered to be at an economical disadvantage is often a stay-at-home parent. These parents make real, although intangible, contributions to the household and the courts as well as the law recognize that they deserve compensation for it.
Factors Considered During Alimony Decisions
There are many other factors the court will consider when making a decision about alimony. These are as follows:
- The earning capacity of each party, including present and past income,
- The training and education of each party that contributes to their wages and income,
- The length of the marriage,
- The physical and mental health of each party,
- The age of each spouse,
- The need of either spouse to stay home after divorce to care for minor children that require a custodian,
- The assets owned by each spouse that can be used to support them,
- The assets that will be divided between the parties during divorce proceedings,
- The standard of living enjoyed by both spouses during the marriage,
- The extent to which each party contributed to the standard of living,
- The reason for divorce and if one party is at fault, although the courts are not required to consider this, and
- Any other factor the judge deems relevant.
Our Alimony Attorneys in Franklin Can Help Resolve Your Case
Alimony can be a great source of stress for people going through a divorce. At Beal, Nations & Crutcher, our Franklin alimony attorneys can help resolve your issue and will give you the best chance of the successful outcome you are hoping for. Call us now at 615-861-2304 or contact us online to book a confidential consultation.