Alimony is based upon the relative needs and resources of the parties.
The State of Tennessee sets out criteria for establishing alimony in its statutes:
- The relative earning capacity, obligations, needs, and financial resources of each party, including income from pension, profit sharing or retirement plans and all other sources;
- The relative education and training of each party, the ability and opportunity of each party to secure such education and training, and the necessity of a party to secure further education and training to improve such party’s earning capacity to a reasonable level;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and mental condition of each party;
- The physical condition of each party, including, but not limited to, physical disability or incapacity due to a chronic debilitating disease;
- The extent to which it would be undesirable for a party to seek employment outside the home because such party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage;
- The separate assets of each party, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;
- The provisions made with regard to the marital property as defined in 36-4-12 1;
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
- The extent to which each party has made such tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage as monetary and homemaker contributions and tangible and intangible contributions by a party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
- The relative fault of the parties in cases where the court, in its discretion, deems it appropriate to do so; and
- Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.
Alimony is the payment from one spouse to another for financial support. There are different reasons the court might order alimony and there are different types of alimony that may be awarded.
Rehabilitative Alimony is alimony for a limited duration which is intended to allow the spouse to rehabilitate themselves, by going to school, etc.
Another type of alimony is Alimony in Futuro. This is for longer marriages where one spouse should be entitled to live in the custom they lived during the marriage and may be too old or ill to return to school or work. Transitional Alimony is awarded when the court finds one spouse to be economically disadvantaged and needs assistance from the other spouse because of the divorce. Homemakers may be entitled to this type of alimony. All of these types of alimony cannot be modified by the Court after a divorce.
Alimony in solido is a lump-sum award paid over a period of time and cannot be modified. It is a type of property settlement paid over time. It is non-modifiable.
Living with someone after the divorce or remarriage may cause the alimony to stop. Death of one of the persons paying or receiving alimony will terminate alimony unless the divorce agreement says otherwise.