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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Examining Tennessee's alimony laws

Most people have a general understanding of alimony -- sometimes referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance -- as being a legal mechanism through which one spouse provides financial support to the other spouse both during and after a divorce. Furthermore, many also understand that alimony can last for varying amounts of time, and either be ordered by a court or agreed upon by the spouses.

While all this is certainly correct, it overlooks some of the finer points of alimony, such as the types available to spouses, the durations associated with each and the factors considered by the courts when making these awards.

In light of this reality, our blog will now launch an ongoing series of posts dedicated to examining how alimony works here in Tennessee.

An overview

Just as changes in the familial structure have become firmly entrenched in society over the last several decades, so too have these changes become entrenched in how courts analyze and award alimony.

In other words, things like both spouses having advanced degrees, both spouses working full-time and spouses switching traditional gender roles are always rightfully accounted for when determining alimony.

When making these alimony determinations -- type, amount, etc. -- courts will consider a multitude of factors, including:

  • Each spouse's ability to earn, as well as their needs, obligations and available financial resources (including pensions, retirement accounts, profit sharing).
  • Each spouse's training and education, as well as their ability and need to secure either to improve their earning potential.
  • Each spouse's age and mental state.
  • Each spouse's physical state.
  • The length of the marriage.

We will continue this discussion in future posts, examining each of the four different types of alimony that can be awarded in Tennessee.

If you have questions or concerns about alimony or any other divorce-related issue, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

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