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Clarksville Alimony Attorney

Spousal Support Laws in Tennessee

Also known as spousal support, alimony is the monetary support paid by one spouse to another. Tennessee allows for a lower income earning spouse to be financially supported by an ex-spouse after a marriage has been terminated in order to maintain a similar lifestyle as when they were married.

A common misconception is that only wives can receive alimony, but either party is eligible depending on the economic circumstances involved in a divorce. Spousal support depends on a variety of factors and can be either temporary or permanent.

Types of Alimony

Alimony payments can be arranged to be paid in monthly, semi-monthly or weekly installments, or in any way a court deems appropriate. Tennessee Code § 36-5-121 states that courts can award several types of alimony, or any combination of alimony awards as they see fit. The types of alimony are rehabilitative alimony, periodic alimony, transitional alimony or lump sum alimony. The requirements for each form of alimony are as follows:

Rehabilitative alimony - The spouse who earns a lower income may be financially supported in order to maintain a standard of living comparable to the lifestyle during the marriage. Courts control the terms and duration of rehabilitative alimony and can increase, decrease, terminate, extend or modify alimony according to the circumstances involved. This form of alimony was intended to allow economically disadvantaged spouses to become financially independent.

Periodic alimony - Also known as alimony in futuro, periodic alimony is common in longer marriages and allows for the financial support of a lower income spouse on a long term basis or until death or remarriage of the spouse who is receiving support. Periodic alimony varies, but is often awarded to spouses who lack employable skills and have a limited chance of being rehabilitated or achieving financial independence.

Transitional alimony - When courts determine that rehabilitation is not necessary, they may award the lower income spouse transitional alimony. This form of alimony provides financial assistance for a court determined period of time to allow the spouse to adjust to the economic consequences of a divorce. This can occur as the result of a divorce, legal separation or other proceeding where spousal support may be awarded, such as a petition for a protection order due to domestic violence. Transitional alimony cannot be modified unless both parties agree during the initial filing of divorce, the alimony recipient lives with a third party or until death.

Lump sum alimony - Also known as alimony in solido, lump sum alimony involves the determination of a specific amount a spouse must pay to the economically disadvantaged party. This is commonly used to make up an imbalance in property or asset division and can be paid in a lump sum payment or in installments.

Alimony Guidelines

There are a number of factors courts consider when determining the recipient, terms and type of alimony and they will compare the independent situations of each spouse in order to evaluate their relative circumstances. T.C. §36-5-121 (i) lists the guidelines for determining alimony according to:

  • Relative earning capacity, obligations, needs and financial resources of each party
  • Relative education and training of each party
  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and mental condition
  • Physical condition
  • Who will be unable to work outside the home because of children
  • Separate assets of each party
  • Distribution of marital property
  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • Contributions of each party, including homemaker contributions
  • The relative fault of the parties
  • Any other factors, including tax consequences

It must be stressed that there is a great deal of legal intricacies, paperwork and circumstantial factors involved in determining alimony. When child support, child custody and other family law issues are involved, legal proceedings can become lengthy and complicated. To ensure that you are well informed about the process and your available options, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced Clarksville divorce attorney from our firm.

Working with Our Firm

Grimes, Sensing & Clemons PLLC has more than 24 years of combined experience and has helped an diverse range of clients smoothly resolve their divorce and alimony legal proceedings. Our firm is well aware of the personal nature of these cases, and examines each case closely in order to determine a client's needs and to develop a strategy that best suits their situation.

We treat each client in a friendly and understanding manner and, when necessary, litigate aggressively on their behalf. Our experience, dedication and personal commitment to every client has become our recipe for success. To discuss your divorce or alimony case or to set up a case evaluation with an attorney from our firm, contact us today.

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Phone: (931) 389-3019
Address: 120 S. 2nd Street, Suite 200, Clarksville, TN 37040

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