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How Is Alimony Decided in Tennessee?

Tennessee Alimony Laws

Every award of alimony will include mandatory disclosures and discovery into both parties financial information, including income, assets, liabilities, and other valuable resources. Unfortunately, some parties will attempt to conceal the truth about their finances in an effort to defeat the other party. That is, to avoid paying alimony or to ameliorate their cause for more alimony.

When brought to light before the court, the consequences for such deception can be severe. The failure of a party to provide a true, accurate, and complete account could result in perjury, contempt of court, fines, being order to pay the innocent spouses attorney fees, being on the losing end of the property division and alimony award, among other things.

Forensic Accountants.

The trail of deception ordinarily begins with the past several years of income tax returns, quickly moving on to financial statements, company records, stock options, pensions, and more. The more complex the asset picture, the more difficult it can be to identify false information on a financial statement or deliberate manipulation of financial records in preparation for divorce.

Lifestyle Analysis.

Which Kinds Of Alimony Payments Can I Adjust In Tennessee

One vital determining factor in whether or not you can change your alimony payments in Nashville, TN is the type of alimony the judge has ordered. After all, two types of alimony cannot be modified under any circumstances.

Neither alimony in solido or transitional alimony payments can be modified under any circumstances in Tennessee. Even in cases where the parties negotiated a settlement, the courts lack authority to change the judgement. Only when both the recipient and the payer agree to modifications can alimony in solido be altered.

However, if the alimony payments are rehabilitative or in futuro, both the obligor and obligee can request modifications when conditions warrant them. Dont start celebrating yet, though, because ultimately all alimony decisions lie in the hands of the judge.

Helping You Understand Tennessee Alimony Laws And How Certain Life Changes Can Impact Your Eligibility For Spousal Support

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is one of the primary areas of contention during the divorce process. Disputes regarding who has to pay, how much must be paid and the duration of payments are often the most acrimonious discussions during mediation and litigation. Tennessee law provides several guidelines for alimony and there are many different factors that the court considers when evaluating the applicability of alimony. Each relationship is different and there is no bright-line formula for awarding spousal support.

There are several different types of alimony each with their own specific goals. Depending on the specific nature and duration of your relationship, the court may award:

  • Alimony in futuro
  • Alimony in solido
  • Temporary alimony during the divorce process
  • Transitional alimony
  • Rehabilitative alimony

Regardless of what type of alimony the court awards, modifications to court orders are sometimes possible if one party experiences a substantial change in circumstances. Two of the most common changes in circumstances are remarriage and cohabitation. If the dependent spouse begins living with another party or chooses to re-marry, the supporting spouse may petition the court for a change in the amount of spousal support or a termination of support.

Providing you with clear information, protection of your legal rights, explanation of your available options and informed decision-making power, we will begin working to try to make your goals a reality.

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How Does Alimony Work In Tennessee

Are you a military spouse or active duty? See our blog on Military Divorce in Clarksville, TN

If you are in the process of getting a divorce or simply considering one, then you have likely thought a lot about how it will impact your financial situation. Whether youre considered the dependent spouse or the supporting spouse, alimony is something you need to think about. So, how does alimony work in a divorce in Tennessee? Lets start with the basics.

What Are The Benefits Of Working With An Experienced Divorce Attorney

Negotiating Alimony in Tennessee, Part Two

Whether you pursue an uncontested or contested divorce in Tennessee, hiring a divorce lawyer is crucial to protect your rights and assets. At Conner & Roberts, PLLC, we help you secure a ruling that helps you build a financially stable future for you and your family. We have a successful track record of negotiating in and outside the courtroom.

Our priority is to advocate for your rights, and we offer a free consultation to help you get a detailed assessment of your situation and legal options. If you are unsure what type of alimony you are eligible for, our attorneys carefully review your situation during our initial consultation and determine what type of spousal support you can request, including its amount and duration.

Are you looking for an experienced family law attorney in Chattanooga or its surrounding areas? Contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC, today at 299-4489 to schedule a consultation to discuss your alimony options!

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Changing Alimony In Futuro Payments In Tennessee

Tennessee law allows courts to modify or eliminate payments whenever material circumstances have changed significantly. That means one partys situation has changed enough that modifications are needed, such as reduced income or a sudden illness.

For example, James has been paying Eliza alimony in futuro. However, James just lost his job and now has no income. He can petition the court to temporarily reduce his obligation, to suspend it, or to end it once and for all. Any modifications granted are the sole discretion of the judge assigned to their case.

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Unlike child support, there is no certain numerical formula to calculate how much alimony you will receive or be required to pay. Per Tennessee State Law, the Divorce Court will consider the following factors when determining alimony:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age of the parties
  • The physical and emotional health of the parties
  • The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living
  • The earning capacities of the parties
  • The educational levels & vocational skills of the parties
  • The employability of the parties
  • The length of absence from the job market
  • The custodial responsibilities of the party seeking alimony
  • The time & expense necessary for the party seeking alimony to acquire sufficient education or training in order to find appropriate employment
  • The opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
  • The history of the non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party, including:
  • Contributions to the care and education of the children
  • Interruption of personal careers and/or educational opportunities
  • The history of financial contributions to the marriage by each party, including:
  • Contributions to the care and education of the children
  • Interruption of personal careers and/or educational opportunities
  • Any other factors which the court may deem relevant
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    The Four Types Of Alimony In Tennessee

    Couples filing for divorce may consider spousal support or alimony. Each spouse may have specific concerns or desires regarding financial support. Working with an experienced attorney can help you understand what amount you may be eligible for and how long you could expect an alimony plan to last. Your lawyer can also assist you in negotiating with your spouse and representing your interests before the judge.

    Tennessee recognizes four types of alimony:

    • Transitional alimony
    • Alimony in Futuro
    • Alimony in Solido

    Alimony is separate from child support and its goal is to help someone preserve the standard of living they benefited from during the marriage.

    To determine whether you are eligible for alimony, and what type or amount is appropriate for your situation, a judge reviews several factors, including the duration of your marriage, your finances, and your potential to support yourself financially. There is no legal basis to determine alimony based on gender.

    How Long Does Alimony Last

    Introduction to How Tennessee Alimony Works

    Alimony payment generally do last for a duration longer than that of the marriage. Here again the courts have the authority to make judgments on how long they believe that an alimony payment should last. A court has much discretion when making alimony determinations, so long as, the court does not abuse its discretion or require alimony payments that are unreasonably burdensome.

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    How Long Will I Be Required To Pay Alimony To My Ex In Tennessee

    Alimony or spousal support is one of the hardest issues tackled in divorce proceedings. Spouses ordered to pay spousal support to their exes are often, and for a good reason, resentful of this court-ordered obligation.

    If a judge in Tennessee has ordered you to pay alimony, there is a chance it is a thorn in your side. If you are struggling with this burden of financially supporting your ex, get a family law attorney in Kingston, TN, to help you go through the alimony terms in your divorce agreement.

    One of the things you may be wondering is how long will these payments last and whats needed to terminate these payments. This may depend on the type of alimony, your situation, and the general rules set out for these payments.

    How Are Assets Divided In A Divorce In Tennessee Is Tn A 50/50 State For Divorce

    Tennessee is an equitable distribution state. This means that once property is classified as marital or separate, the trial court must divide marital property equitably according to the factors listed in T.C.A. § 36-4-121. An equitable division does not always mean an equal division of property. In other words, marital property will not always be divided 50/50. Also, equitable division does not mean each party will receive a share of every piece of marital property.

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    Tennessee Spousal Support Laws: The Basics

    The following table provides an overview of Tennessee alimony laws with links to relevant statutes. Remember, while it’s helpful to read an overview of the law, it’s also good to read the actual text of a statute.

    Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts , ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law you are researching.

    Tennessee Divorce Law: Alimony

    How is alimony decided in Tennessee?

    One of the most loved and feared words in the world of divorce is alimony. Its pretty good if youre receiver, pretty bad if youre the giver. Alimony in TN is also one of the most misunderstood aspects of the divorce process. As a term, alimonys not so confusing most people are probably aware that its the word used for financial support provided by a higher earning spouse after a divorce but the process of figuring out the details of alimony can get complicated.

    Determination of alimony varies depending on where you live. In the state of Tennessee, alimony legislation has had some twists and turns, historically speaking. It makes sense, therefore, that misunderstandings are commonplace these days.

    In a vague sense, alimony in TN comes into play when divorce places one spouse in a financially disadvantageous position. This spouse would be the recipient and the other would be the obliger, or the spouse who has to foot the bill for the other spouses unaffordable yet necessary expenses. However, if the obliger isnt capable of footing the bill for those expenses, alimony is off the table.

    Put simply, for alimony in TN to be applicable in a divorce, one spouse must be unable to afford basic living expenses and the other spouse must be able to cover them.

    When it comes to calculating alimony, a judge will take three factors into account: how much, how long, and what type.

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    Can I Modify Or Terminate My Alimony Order

    The court might review, in the future unless both spouses agreed in writing that neither would request for such a review later. For alimony in futuro and rehabilitative alimony, you may ask for modification or terminating of the order if you can show a change in circumstance. For example, if you lose your job due to health problems.

    Transitional alimony is only modifiable if the receiving spouse agreed in writing allowing such modifications in the future, or the court states that the order is modifiable, or if your ex starts cohabiting with a third party. For alimony in solido, it is a nonmodifiable arrangement.

    Whether Youre Paying Alimony Or Receiving It Circumstances May Allow You To Change Alimony In Davidson County Tn

    Alimony in Nashville, TN is a reality for many divorcees, and whether paying or receiving it, you should know your rights and your responsibilities. You may be unaware of the circumstances in which you can adjust your alimony payments.

    Lawyers People Love is here to help you understand alimony and how you can adjust your alimony in Nashville. With just a little guidance, youll be able to understand the kinds of alimony and the reasons you can request changes to the arrangement.

    Before you run down to the courthouse proclaiming, I need to adjust my alimony, youll need to figure out which kind of alimony payments are involved. After all, not all types of spousal support are created equal.

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    Can I Get An Annulment In Tennessee

    If a marriage is annulled, the marriage is treated as if it never existed. Marriages can be void or voidable. According to Tennessee divorce laws, a marriage is voidable if: either party is under age one or both parties lack capacity there is no consent fraud mistake force impotency the woman is pregnant by another or the marriage is not consummated.

    Void marriages are serious violations of public policy. A marriage is void if either of the parties is already married , the parties are closely related , or if either party has been adjudicated insane at the time of the marriage ceremony.

    Alimony In Tennessee: Your Complete Guide

    Top 5 Tennessee Alimony Strategies | How to Win an Alimony Case

    Alimony can spark all sorts of negative feelings and confrontational debates among divorcing couples. In an already tumultuous time, discussing alimony can transform your negotiation or litigation into an acrimonious affair. One spouse feels entitled to the extra financial support, while the other does not see the need to part with his or her hard-earned dollars.

    Without understanding the basics of how alimony in Tennessee works, you might become trapped and disadvantaged in this scenario.

    Before you head to court, make sure that you are fully prepared with all of the information you need about alimony in Tennessee. When you are aware of your rights, your attorney can help you make better decisions.

    This article covers the basic facts you need to know about alimony in Tennessee.

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    What Can Happen If I Dont Pay Alimony In Tennessee According To The Court Award

    You could wind up in big trouble!

    If an ex-spouse tries to avoid paying alimony, the recipient spouse can initiate legal action to compel a payor to meet their obligation. This involves filing a petition for civil contempt, criminal contempt, or both. The recipient spouse then needs to prove that the payor spouse was in willful violation of the alimony award.

    Unpaid alimony is known as alimony arrears. Arrears can be collected in several possible ways through various court actions:

    • order the paying spouse to pay all past due support payments and become current
    • order the arrears to be paid with an additional monthly amount
    • order interest on the total arrears amount
    • order the sale of property belonging to the delinquent spouse to satisfy arrears
    • make the delinquent spouse pay attorneys fees and costs associated with the enforcement action
    • order both the regular and arrears monthly payments to be automatically deducted from the delinquent spouses paycheck through an income deduction order

    If the recipient spouse proves the payor spouse has the means to pay support, but chooses not to pay, then that is civil contempt. If the recipient spouse proves the other spouse had the ability to pay at the time payments were due, but chose not to pay, then that is criminal contempt.

    Can I Get Alimony

    Alimony, also called maintenance or spousal support, is financial support paid by, or to, your spouse. The judge will decide whether or not to grant you alimony. If you suffer economically because you relied on your spouse for support and were a homemaker or parent during your marriage, the judge will try to make sure that your standard of living is the same after your marriage as it was during your marriage if possible.1

    To decide whether or not to award alimony and to decide the appropriate amount and length of an alimony award, the judge will consider several factors, including:

    • each partys financial needs and the ability to meet those needs
    • each partys earning capacity and resources, including pensions, profit sharing, and retirement plans
    • each partys education and training and need for more education or training to increase earning capacity
    • the length of marriage
    • each partys age, mental condition, and physical condition
    • if there are children under 18 years old, which would make it undesirable for one party to work outside of the home
    • the standard of living during the marriage
    • contributions as a homemaker, help with the other spouses training, education, or increased earning capacity of your spouse
    • each partys fault in contributing to the divorce and
    • any other factors necessary to come to a fair decision, including the potential tax consequences to you and your spouse.1

    1 TN ST § 36-5-121

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    Factors The Court Considers When Determining Alimony

    The court considers a variety of factors when determining whether permanent alimony or any other type of spousal support is appropriate. This includes:

    • Financial resources and earning capacity of each spouse
    • How long the couple was married
    • Education and training level of each spouse
    • Age and mental condition of each spouse
    • Each persons separate property
    • Standard of living that the couple enjoyed during the marriage
    • Contributions that each spouse has made to the marriage
    • The physical condition of each party, including, but not limited to, physical disability or incapacity due to a chronic, debilitating disease
    • The extent to which it would be undesirable for a party to seek employment outside the home because such party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage
    • The relative fault of the parties in cases where the court, in its discretion, deems it appropriate to do so
    • Other factors, including the tax consequences to each party

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