Nashville View

Spousal Support

Family Law Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Nashville Residents

During a divorce, one spouse may seek financial support from the other, the awarding of which often depends on many factors and considerations. The family law lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC help clients in the Nashville area pursue fair resolutions for spousal support arrangements, known as alimony in Tennessee. Our firm represents spouses seeking or facing alimony payments throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. We can listen to the details of your situation and discuss your options.

Types of Alimony in Tennessee

Under Tennessee law, alimony is divided into four types. Periodic alimony, or alimony in futuro, is the most commonly awarded type. This support is designed to allow a dependent spouse to maintain the lifestyle he or she had while married. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to assist a dependent spouse to be “rehabilitated,” for instance by providing financial support so that he or she may go back to school to increase his or her earning potential. Transitional alimony is support to help a spouse transition to life following a divorce, when rehabilitation is unnecessary, but an economic disadvantage still exists for the dependent spouse. Lump sum alimony, or alimony in solido, is payment by one spouse to counteract an uneven distribution of property during a divorce. In determining the type, amount, and length of an alimony award, a court may consider a variety of factors. Alimony must be agreed to, or awarded, at the time of a divorce and may not be sought after the fact.

Determining the Amount of Support

Many considerations are taken into account when a court determines alimony. Often, if the duration of a marriage was lengthy, such as over 25 years, an obligation of payments is based on the long-term needs of a dependent spouse. If the couple was married for a shorter time, the alimony may be awarded in order to assist the dependent spouse to become independent. Under Tennessee law, a court considers many factors in addition to the length of marriage in determining the amount of support as well as whether payment will be permanent or temporary. These factors often include:

  • Each spouse’s separate or marital property;
  • The custody arrangement between the parents, and whether the spouse seeking support has primary custody of any children;
  • The standard of living the couple sustained while married;
  • Each spouse’s financial resources, including earning capacity, retirement, or profit-sharing benefits;
  • Each spouse’s contributions during the marriage;
  • The age and health of each spouse; and
  • Each spouse’s occupation as well as job skills and employability for the spouse seeking alimony.

The court may also consider the education and training of both spouses, their conduct during the marriage, and any other factors that it deems just or equitable in making its determination. These decisions may be vital to either spouse’s financial future, so consulting an knowledgeable family law attorney can assist you in the legal process when pursuing or paying alimony.

Explore Your Options with a Franklin Lawyer during a Divorce

Whether you are seeking spousal support during a divorce or trying to ensure fair payments, the divorce attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC can help Franklin residents examine the financial circumstances involved and advocate for an appropriate solution. Our firm represents clients in West Meade and Charlotte as well as throughout Tennessee in divorce and other family law matters. You can call (615) 800-7096 or contact us online to see how we may assist you.