Will You Get Alimony? Will You Have To Pay It?

At The Landers Firm, PLC, in Memphis, we know that your financial future is an important consideration in divorce. It is why alimony or spousal support is often a highly contested issue in divorce. You need to know if you will pay alimony, receive it or if the court will issue any order at all. Once you answer that question, you will want to know how much the payments will be and how long they will last.

Alimony in Tennessee is governed by state law and based on many factors. The most important factors are "need" and "ability to pay." Unlike child support, there is not a specific formula or guideline for determining alimony. It is not a one-case-fits-all situation, which is why you must have an attorney to guide you.

Several Types Of Alimony Are Available In Tennessee

The types of alimony available in Tennessee are as follows and they are applied based upon which type best fits the facts, circumstances and needs in your case:

  • Pendente lite: This type of alimony is what we call "temporary support," and it is awarded while your case is pending to keep the family's finances running as smoothly as possible. It can be awarded at any time while the divorce is pending before the court. At the time of the final hearing, however, pendente lite alimony must terminate and a different type of alimony may or may not be awarded.
  • In futuro: This is typically "lifetime" alimony and is reserved for very unusual cases or extremely long-term marriages where one spouse will never be able to fully support himself or herself. It is typically taxable to the recipient, deductible by the payer and modifiable by both parties under the right circumstances.
  • Rehabilitative: This is typically used in circumstances where one spouse needs support to allow him or her to get to a financial place where support is no longer needed — perhaps to complete an education or to allow a minor child to begin school. It is typically taxable to the recipient, deductible by the payer and modifiable by both parties under the right circumstances.
  • In solido: This type of alimony is also known as "lump sum alimony" and it is typically used to balance out an unequal division of property or to ensure the transfer of a certain sum of money to a spouse without creating tax consequences and without allowing modifiability by either party.
  • Transitional: This form of alimony is typically awarded in circumstances that don't fit other types of alimony and when "rehabilitation" is either not possible or not needed. It is typically of short duration, and it may be taxable or nontaxable and modifiable or nonmodifiable, depending on what is trying to be achieved.

Call our office at 901-522-1010 or send us your contact information. We can arrange a consultation with our lawyers to discuss your concerns about alimony or any other family law matter.