Alimony is often brought up in divorce cases. Many clients do not know that alimony is not automatic and that the court must use several factors in determining if alimony is appropriate. To award alimony, the judge must first look at the “need and ability to pay.” The one requesting the alimony must have a “need” for alimony and the one who would be paying the alimony must have the “ability to pay.” Besides the “need and ability to pay”, the court will also look at the length of the marriage, standard of living, the education of both parties, the difference in incomes of both parties and their earning capacity. In Tennessee, there are four types of alimony:
Rehabilitative Alimony- The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to rehabilitate a spouse back into the workforce. This comes into play when a spouse does not have the ability to earn an income. An example of this would be a spouse that was a stay-at-home parent during the marriage. As a result, the spouse would need to be “rehabilitated” back into the workforce. The court may award alimony so a spouse could go to school or get the necessary training he or she may need to earn a living.
Alimony in Futuro- Alimony in futuro may be awarded in a divorce where the parties were married for a longer period of time. If a spouse was accustomed to a certain standard of living, the court would consider this when awarding alimony in futuro.
Transitional Alimony- Transitional alimony is a type of alimony where a spouse has the ability to earn a living but may need help adjusting after the divorce.
Alimony in Solido (lump sum alimony)- Alimony in solido is a form of alimony that is sometimes used a part of property division. This is usually a set amount that can be paid in either a lump sum or over a period of time.
The attorneys at Parker & Pugh have helped numerous clients receive alimony as part of their divorce. If you are going through a divorce of thinking about filing for divorce, contact the attorneys at Parker & Pugh for your free consultation.
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