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When is alimony awarded in a divorce?

Alimony is an important concern in any divorce and can have an impact on the future of both parties following the divorce. As a result, divorcing couples in Tennessee may have a variety of understandable questions concerning alimony and when and how it is awarded. Additionally, they may wonder how to anticipate the amount of any alimony award and the duration of an alimony award.

Alimony is intended to offset any unfair financial impact of the divorce by compensating a lower wage-earning or non-waging earning spouse with alimony payments. Alimony helps the lower-wage earning or non-wage earning spouse continue in the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage or enable them to develop the job skills they need to become financially self-sufficient after a period of time when they may have remained in the home to take care of the family or support the working spouse.

A variety of factors are taken into account by the family law court when determining an alimony award including the age, physical condition, emotional state and financial situation of the former spouses; the length of the marriage; the standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage; the length of time the recipient spouse will need to obtain the education of training necessary to become self-sufficient; and the ability of the paying spouse to pay alimony while stilling supporting themselves.

The length of time alimony must be paid depends on the type of alimony the court awards and it is important to note that the requirement to pay alimony is an enforceable obligation. Because alimony can be high on the list of concerns for both divorcing spouses, it is helpful to be familiar with how an award of alimony is determined by the family law court.

Source:, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," Accessed April 26, 2018

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The Law Office of Robert M. Asbury
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