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What are my odds of getting (or paying) alimony?

This is a question we frequently hear.  Here's the short answer: it depends.

Alimony, also commonly referred to as "spousal support," is permitted in Tennessee if it is needed or if it makes the divorce more equitable. But most significantly, the court determines alimony on a case-by-case basis. The award of alimony is case-specific and completely depends upon your individual set of circumstances. The most important factors are the need for alimony for one spouse and the ability to pay the alimony by the other spouse.

In Tennessee, courts may order temporary, short-term, or long-term alimony. Short-term alimony is more commonly seen when the recipient-spouse needs time to gain necessary skills for employment. Long-term, or permanent, alimony may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs, and is usually reserved for very lengthy marriages as well as instances where one spouse is unable to ever work or have any other means of support. It is not common to get long term alimony, but rehabilitative and transitional alimony are more common.

Rehabilitative Alimony: This is temporary support intended to assist the economically-disadvantaged spouse to allow him/her to maintain a reasonable standard of living in comparison to the standard of living shared by the parties during the marriage or the post-divorce standard of living available to the other spouse.

Transitional Alimony: This is a temporary support to assist the economically-disadvantaged spouse in adjusting to the economic consequences of the divorce. This differs from rehabilitative alimony by assisting the person in transitioning into single life, rather than to rehabilitate the person in order to maintain his or her lifestyle.

Alimony in Futuro: This is a form of long-term support till the death or re-marriage of the economically-disadvantaged spouse. This is not commonly awarded, but may be appropriate when one spouse is severely economically disadvantaged and cannot be rehabilitated. 

Alimony in Solido: This is a form of long-term support that is often used for property division. The alimony is a specified, set amount and may be payable in a lump sum or a periodic payments for a definite term. 

If you have more questions about your particular circumstances, give us a call for a free consultation.


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