Alimony Laws in Tennessee

By Kelli Cooper
Alimony Laws in Tennessee

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Tennessee law contains many provisions that call for spousal support after a divorce. The court recognizes four types of alimony and can grant more than one type during a proceeding. No exact formula exists for determining alimony payments, and a judge will take several factors into account when deciding on the type, length and amount of payment. If you do not receive or request alimony at the time of the divorce, you cannot seek it later.

Alimony in Futuro

Alimony in futuro, or period alimony, enables an economically disadvantaged spouse to maintain a similar quality of living as when she was married. A judge might award this type of alimony if he determines the spouse cannot reasonably achieve a similar standard of living on her own efforts. This type of alimony usually continues indefinitely or until the awarded spouse remarries. If the recipient does not immediately notify the payer of her new marriage, the court can order repayment of any funds received after the marriage took place.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony allows a spouse to improve his financial situation by providing money for school, job training or anything else that would contribute to this end and improve the chances of independent living. The awarded amount can change due to significant changes in circumstances in the lives of either party. The court will establish an amount and time frame of payout—you can only extend this if you can prove the current payments have not provided significant rehabilitative assistance.

Lump Sum Alimony

Lump sum alimony involves payment of a set amount to balance out inequities in property division. This long-term support helps the disadvantaged spouse maintain a similar quality of life. The court might approve installment payments in certain instances. This can include attorney’s fees. Remarriage does not terminate an agreement of lump sum alimony.

Transitional Alimony

Transitional alimony helps a spouse adjust to her new economic standing. The court recognizes the spouse has economic disadvantage but does not qualify for rehabilitative alimony. The court will establish a set amount and time frame for payment.

Support of Marriage

According to, a website listing legal documents for all 50 states, the state of Tennessee supports arrangements in which spouses divide responsibilities in a manner that one parent tends to the household and children while the other takes care of finances. However, it recognizes that this arrangement puts one spouse at an economic disadvantage. The state believes the former has equal rights and dignity and her contribution is of equal importance. Therefore, alimony laws support the disadvantaged spouse in maintaining a similar lifestyle after divorce.

Considerations for Granting Alimony

The court will consider several factors when determining an alimony arrangement. They include, but are not limited to, the length of the marriage, financial obligations, resources and needs of each party, training and education, mental and physical health, standard of living during the marriage, and assets.

About the Author

Kelli Cooper has been a writer since 2009, specializing in health and fitness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers University and is a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise.

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