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Termination of Spousal Support

Divorce Attorneys Helping Residents of Nashville and Beyond

Spousal support may be ordered during divorce proceedings based on the circumstances surrounding each individual at that time. However, when situations change, and one spouse is not capable of providing the same support, or a spouse is no longer entitled to those finances, the termination of spousal support may be appropriate. The Nashville spousal support lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC can assist Tennessee residents with terminating unfair or outdated spousal support arrangements. Our firm represents clients throughout Davidson County and Williamson County in all types of divorce and family law matters, offering seasoned and knowledgeable legal guidance in sensitive situations. If you have questions or need help in modifying or terminating the terms of your spousal support settlement, contact our office today to find out more about our services.

The Termination of Spousal Support

In Tennessee, spousal support is known as alimony, and it is classified under four different types. Any modifications or termination of alimony depends on which type was awarded during a divorce. The four types of alimony are periodic, rehabilitative, transitional, and alimony in solido.

Periodic alimony, or alimony in futuro, is the most common type of award and is paid on a long-term basis. This kind of support is issued so that a dependent spouse can continue with the lifestyle that they had enjoyed during the marriage. Alimony in futuro may be modified or terminated when there is a substantial and material change in circumstances. Additionally, if the recipient spouse is living with another person, a rebuttable presumption arises that the third person is contributing to supporting the household, and therefore the recipient spouse is not in need of as much, or any, further support from their previous spouse. Alimony in futuro is automatically terminated when the recipient dies or remarries or the obligor passes away.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded in order to aid in increasing the earning capacity of one spouse so that they have a reasonably comparable lifestyle to what they enjoyed during the marriage. This support funds a spouse’s continued education or may be applied toward other reasonable efforts to increase their earning potential. Most often, these payments are temporary and stipulate a specific end date or terms met. Rehabilitative alimony also ceases upon the death of either party.

Transitional alimony is appropriate when rehabilitative alimony is not necessary, but one spouse still needs assistance with transitioning to their post-divorce lifestyle. This type of support is not modifiable unless both parties agree. Termination of transitional alimony is also automatic with the death of either party.

The final type of spousal support is lump sum alimony, or alimony in solido, with a specific amount determined at the time of divorce and paid to the lesser-earning spouse in installments. This kind of alimony is only modifiable upon agreement by the former couple and does not terminate upon the death or remarriage of either party.

Overall, in order to terminate alimony payments in Tennessee, there must be a substantial and material change in circumstances since the original support was awarded. A material change refers to a change that occurred after the original divorce decree was issued and that was not anticipated or considered by either party at the time of the agreement. Substantial changes are those that significantly affect one party’s ability to pay or the other’s need for support.

Discuss Your Needs During a Divorce with a Nashville Attorney

If you need legal advice regarding the termination of spousal support payments, the divorce lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC can help you determine your legal next steps. Our firm also represents people in Franklin, Green Hills, Sylvan Park, and East Nashville, as well as other areas. You can contact us online or call us at 615-800-7096 to set up a free appointment with an attorney at our Nashville firm to understand the full scope of your options.