Alimony Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee
How you will be able to put a roof over your head, pay your bills, and buy gas and groceries after divorce is an unavoidable consideration of ending a marriage. For some couples, dividing all their marital assets and debt and moving on is financially feasible. Others may stay married simply because they don’t know how they can afford not to.
Although alimony is not awarded in all divorces, it can be. It provides financial assistance to one spouse and a financial responsibility, if not a burden, to the other. If you need spousal support or if you are the spouse likely to pay it, it's essential you understand how it works before you file for divorce or file an answer to your spouse’s petition for divorce.
Attorney Frank Brazil has been helping clients on both sides of the alimony equation in Nashville, Tennessee, and throughout Rutherford County, for years. When you need an undaunted legal advocate for your financial future after divorce, you need Brazil Clark, PLLC.
How Does Tennessee Law Address Alimony?
Alimony, also referred to as “spousal support” is the court-ordered financial support paid by one spouse to help the other in divorce.
Although every state has its own laws regarding alimony, Tennessee courts award the following types of spousal support:
Periodic (alimony in futuro) is often awarded in longer marriages to help a spouse maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage.
Lump sum (alimony in solido) is set as of the date of divorce, payable either in a lump sum of cash or property or in installments for a set period of time.
Transitional alimony is awarded to a spouse who does not need rehabilitative support but needs time to adjust to post-divorce financial realities.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded when a spouse needs additional education or training to improve their employment ability to the point where they can return to the standard of life during the marriage on their own.
Pendente lite support is awarded at the discretion of the judge to provide financial resources for a spouse to prosecute or defend the divorce proceeding, or to provide support that will help that spouse pay bills during the divorce, such as for insurance or car payments.
Who Is Entitled to Alimony in Tennessee?
A spouse facing financial hardship or a significant change in the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage may petition the court for alimony. The recipient spouse must demonstrate a need for the support, and the paying spouse must have the ability to provide it.
Regardless of which side you are on, you can benefit from the guidance of a family law attorney. Your attorney will know what you may be entitled to receive, be obligated to pay, for what reasons and for how long. Although every situation is unique, there are some common elements of alimony awards ordered by Tennessee courts.
How Is Alimony Determined?
The type of spousal support awarded is subject largely to need and duration. Various factors related to the recipient spouse will be considered, such as that spouse’s earning potential and ability to become financially self-sufficient.
The duration of a marriage is a factor. A spouse whose contribution has been to the home and raising children rather than being employed outside the home may merit alimony for the rest of their life. That said, in a long-term marriage where both spouses earn similar incomes, the court may not award alimony.
There is also consideration given to a spouse who is the primary residential parent in the child custody agreement, since that spouse’s ability to earn a living is affected by their care and custody of the children.
In addition, the court is likely to uphold any alimony award agreed to by the spouses in a prenuptial or postnuptial marital agreement.
The court will establish the duration of an alimony award, based on the type of support. For example, a lump-sum payment satisfied by marital property may end upon the issuing of the divorce decree. A rehabilitative award may end upon the recipient spouse’s completion of a college or advanced degree. In most cases, alimony terminates if the recipient spouse remarries.
Can an Existing Alimony Award Be Changed?
Tennessee courts may consider modifying the alimony amount or eliminating alimony if either spouse’s circumstances change significantly. Remember, the recipient spouse must demonstrate a financial need and the paying spouse the ability to pay.
Significant changes would include events such as the paying spouse’s loss of job or disability, the recipient spouse’s remarriage, or increased employment or other income. The spouse who wants to change the award would need to petition the court for review.
Alimony Attorneys in
Whether your marriage has been brief or lengthy, the prospect of losing your spouse’s financial contributions or of paying alimony to support your spouse during or after the divorce can be stressful. You can rely on the experience of family law Attorney Frank Brazil to help you understand the process and anticipate how the court will likely rule regarding alimony. Call Brazil Clark, PLLC, in Nashville, Tennessee, today to schedule a case consultation.