When is alimony granted in a divorce?

When contemplating a divorce, your future can seem uncertain. You may be unsure about your living arrangements, or not know how to support yourself. If you are the breadwinner, you may worry about paying to support your former spouse.

In Tennessee, spousal support is known as alimony. After a divorce, alimony is money awarded to a spouse that needs financial support. Alimony is usually temporary and focuses on correcting the other partners income disparity.

When deciding whether to order alimony payments, the court reviews factors like:

  • Earning capacity of each partner
  • The financial resources of both spouses
  • Education and training of partners
  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and health of the former spouses
  • Division of marital property
  • Standard of living
  • Contributions to the marriage

The court may examine your information and decide alimony should be paid. Depending on your situation, there are four different ways to award alimony in Tennessee.

Alimony in futuro

Alimony in futuro, or periodic alimony, is common with longer marriages. After being married for many years, it may be too late to go back to school or change a career. The breadwinner pays alimony to help the other spouse maintain his or her lifestyle. It can continue indefinitely.

Rehabilitative alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is usually awarded for shorter marriages. It focuses on rehabilitating one partners earning power. That might mean going back to school or seeking another type of vocational training.

Transitional alimony

If the lower earning partner needs help transitioning after the divorce, transitional alimony may be ordered. It is only given for a short period.

Alimony in solido

Alimony in solido, or lump sum alimony, clears up imbalances in property division. Maybe one partner kept the marital home, but cannot afford to pay the other spouse his or her share of the equity. With lump sum alimony, the former partner pays the owed money in installments.

Each situation is different, so there are no time limit stipulations for alimony. Typically, the longer a marriage lasts, the longer a former spouse pays alimony. However, other circumstances could cause the court to order payments continue.