How Long Do I Pay Alimony in TN?
If you are ordered to pay alimony in Tennessee, it is natural to wonder how long you will have to pay it. The answer will depend on several factors.
Alimony is a very real part of many divorces in Tennessee, but not everyone receives it. There has to be an economically disadvantaged spouse for alimony to be considered. The most important factors for ordering alimony are one spouse’s need, and the other spouse’s ability to pay. If you are ordered to pay alimony, the length of time you are required to pay will depend on several factors, starting with the type of alimony ordered.
Types of Alimony
The length of time you will have to pay alimony will first depend on the type of alimony that is ordered. The types of alimony in Tennessee include:
- Spousal support pendente lite: Also known as temporary alimony, this type of support is ordered while the divorce case is pending, and it allows one spouse to maintain the previous marital standard of living or at least some certain financial status while the divorce case is pending. It can also include the costs of the divorce, such as attorney’s fees. This form of alimony remains in place until there is a further order of the court, which is usually the final order, that is, the divorce decree that is signed by the judge.
- Alimony in futuro: Although this type of alimony is also known as permanent alimony, it does not mean one always has to pay it for the rest of one’s life. It terminates upon death or remarriage of the receiving spouse. The receiving spouse is required to notify the paying spouse immediately of any remarriage. This type of alimony is modifiable upon a showing of substantial and material change in circumstances. Many times retirement is a reason to seek modification. Sometimes people will agree in their Marital Dissolution Agreement for this type of alimony to terminate upon retirement at a certain age.
- Transitional alimony: As its name suggests, this type of alimony is intended to allow one spouse to get back on their feet financially after a divorce. This type of alimony is paid for a set period of time. This alimony terminates upon the death of the recipient or payor. This alimony is generally not modifiable, however, there are exceptions.
- Alimony in solido: This type of alimony allows the paying spouse to make one lump sum payment of long term support, but it can be paid in installments over a definite period of time. This alimony is usually not modifiable.
- Rehabilitative alimony. This type of alimony is designed to help the receiving spouse make a reasonable effort to achieve an earning capacity that permits the receiving spouse to have a standard of living after the divorce which is reasonably comparable to the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, or comparable to the post-divorce standard of living that the paying spouse is expected to have. This type of alimony is modifiable.
The Duration of Alimony in Tennessee
The length of time you will have to pay alimony will typically depend on the length of the marriage, the ages of the spouses, the earning capacity of the spouses, and a number of other factors, in addition to some of the things stated previously, such as remarriage or death of the receiving spouse. If you are ordered to pay alimony, do not stop paying before the order of the court states that you can stop paying. Stopping payments before that time could result in repercussions from the court. If in doubt, consult a family law attorney.
A Tennessee Family Lawyer Can Answer Your Alimony Questions
If you are wanting to file for a divorce, you likely have many questions about alimony. I am Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law, a Franklin family lawyer, and I will work hard to try to provide answers to your questions about the divorce process in Tennessee. Call me today at (615) 791-8511 or fill out the online form to schedule a free initial consultation so we can discuss your case and move forward.