Alimony in Tennessee Divorce
Types of Alimony or Spousal Support
There are several types of alimony and the numerous factors that a divorce court must weigh in order to determine if spousal support is appropriate and if so, the type and amount to be awarded. Alimony is quite complicated, and involves many factual based elements, so be sure to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to explore if alimony may be an issue in your case.
In general, alimony is spousal support which is typically awarded to the economically disadvantaged spouse. The court will first determine if support is appropriate under the circumstances by weighing several factors, like duration or length of the marriage, relative earning capacity of each spouse, division of marital property, etc. Then the court will determine the amount and type of alimony. The basic goal of alimony is to prevent, if possible, a massive loss of standard of living to one spouse while the other spouse maintains a relatively stable standard of living.
This article will focus on the different types of alimony available under Tennessee law.
1. Periodic Alimony also called alimony in futuro:
This is the traditional type of spousal support. The Court weighs all of the relevant factors and determines the amount per month that should be paid to the recipient spouse. Typically periodic alimony is long term or permanent.
2. Rehabilitative Alimony
This is a separate class of spousal support. Rehabilitative alimony as it name implies, is designed to rehabilitate the disadvantaged spouse. This type of spousal support is temporary in nature and is designed to provide for the disadvantaged spouse until a reasonable earning capacity is achieved. Again the goal here is stabilize the standard of living and, if possible.
3. Alimony in solido, or lump sum alimony
A one time payment of a certain sum to the disadvantaged spouse. This may be used as a substitute for other forms of alimony or in addition. This type of alimony is commonly used to equalize and/or supplement the division of marital property.
4. Transitional Alimony:
Another form of short term alimony, typically used when the need for “rehabilitation” is not necessary but a time of adjustment is needed.
5. Alimony pendente lite or alimony pending litigation of the divorce:
A temporary form of spousal support which is awarded during the pendency of the divorce action. Typically the court only looks at the financial need of the requesting spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay.
Again, spousal support is a very complex issue which requires a thorough review of the particular facts of your situation. To determine if you may be able to get spousal support or may have to pay alimony, consult with an experienced family law attorney. Attorney Jim Purple has over 31 years experience in domestic relations and divorce. Contact Jim Purple, Chattanooga divorce lawyer, to schedule a free consultation.