How is Spousal Support Determined?
How is alimony, or spousal support, determined in Tennessee law?
Our expert divorce attorneys explain how most people get it wrong before they even speak to a lawyer.
Alimony, sometimes referred to as Spousal Support, is defined as the legal obligation following a divorce or separation of one spouse to pay support to the other on the basis of economic disparity.
But as time and seasons change, so, too, do the Tennessee alimony laws that govern the criteria by which alimony is determined. In recent years, the Tennessee Supreme Court has revisited many cases involving alimony and has reported a peculiar stance on the present state of Tennessee’s alimony laws:
Nashville alimony law continues to be one of Tennessee’s most misinterpreted areas of law.
In the past, success in a case of alimony meant a Nashville alimony lawyer having the ability to acquire a favorable settlement for the party who was determined to have been wronged. Furthermore, a Nashville alimony case would have been considered having a positive outcome if the wronged party received a settlement that enabled them to carry on with their choice of customary lifestyle.
So we know what alimony is, but let’s discuss why alimony may not be granted in certain situations.
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When Might Alimony Not Be Granted?
Alimony in TN is determined by the recipient’s necessity for alimony payment as well as the capability of the obligor, or person who is contractually bound to another, to provide payment.
In the case that a financially disadvantaged spouse is able to earn what can be deemed a satisfactory amount of income in order to pay any necessary expenses, there will be no alimony granted.
Moreover, if the financially disadvantaged spouse is in need, but the obligor is not in a position of earning a sufficient amount to make any kind of support payments, there will also be no alimony awarded.
However, in the event that the financially disadvantaged spouse is in a position of need for alimony payments, but the obligor is not in a position to make payments, it IS likely that alimony WILL be granted.
In any case involving alimony in Tennessee, the necessary analyses will include what type of alimony would be paid, in what amount, and for how long.
Next, let’s cover what types of Tennessee alimony exist, their purpose, and why each one might be granted.
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Types of Alimony in Tennessee
Tennessee alimony law identifies four (4) separate kinds of alimony.
However, the distinctions between the four kinds of Tennessee alimony tend to be on the intricate and confusing side.
And identifying these distinctions is of utmost importance due to the fact that only specific types of alimony may be modified or terminated in Tennessee alimony law.
Those four types of Tennessee alimony are as follows:
- Alimony in Futuro—The object of this type of alimony is to attempt to balance the income disparity between the spouses as well as to supplement income to enable the financially disadvantaged spouse to maintain a relatively similar lifestyle which was enjoyed during the course of the marriage.
- Alimony in Futuro is modifiable by a court and will terminate immediately and unconditionally in the event upon which the death or remarriage of the person receiving payments occurs, or if the spouse making payments
- Alimony in Solido—The purpose of this type of Tennessee alimony is to award one spouse by means of property ownership, which can be paid in the form of specific sums or in a specific manner.
- Alimony in Solido is not modifiable and will not be terminable by the remarriage or death of either of the two parties.
- Rehabilitative Alimony—This type of alimony is used in order to obtain supplementary experience, schooling, or training for the purpose of increasing that spouse’s income to the point where they are able to support themselves at a determinately sufficient level. Payments will then be made for an disclosed mount of time needed for such rehabilitation to take place.
- Rehabilitative Alimony may be modified by increasing, decreasing, or extending or terminated entirely as seen fit by the court on the basis of the case’s particular circumstances.
- Transitional Alimony—this type of alimony’s objective is to enable comfortable adjustments to the financial consequences of a divorce.
- Transitional Alimony CANNOT be easily modified but by a court upon the prevalence of certain conditions.
Hire Nashville’s Choice in Alimony Law
Nashville Law Offices, PLLC has over 25 years of experience in all areas of Tennessee family law with a special interest in Tennessee alimony law. Speak with one of our award-winning Tennessee alimony lawyers to learn more about how TN alimony law will affect your case. Contact our office today by submitting an online contact form or simply calling our office to schedule your initial case evaluation with a qualified TN alimony attorney at no charge and carrying no obligations!