Alimony is usually the last to be determined in divorce – after establishing fault, child custody, child support, and equitable property distribution. This is often because the other four aspects impact the judge’s decision on alimony.
The determination can be complex because several other factors crop up, like most matters in divorce. But if you want a fair outcome, talk to the family law attorneys in Kingston and benefit from their wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience.
What Types of Alimony Can be Awarded in Tennessee?
The type of alimony awarded to you determines how long you could receive it for and how the payment can be terminated. Some can only be stopped by the court’s decision, while others are fueled by your lifestyle decisions.
- Transitional Alimony – It is awarded to help you adjust to the new financial arrangement in divorce. The court decides how long the support will last.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – If you are awarded this type of spousal support, the court stops it when it believes you can self-support yourself.
- Alimony in Solido – In such an arrangement, the court awards a specific amount of spousal maintenance that can be paid in installments or a lump sum. Neither death nor your decision to remarry can stop this obligation on the other spouse.
- Alimony in Futuro – Alimony in Futuro only stops coming if you remarry or if death happens.
Notably, divorcing couples can agree on alimony matters through mediation. If you discuss your situation with skilled Kingston alimony lawyers, it is also possible to know the type of alimony that you are eligible for.
What Influences Alimony Determination?
The judge considers several things when making alimony determinations in Tennessee. While the primary determinant is how long the marriage had lasted, many other things must be looked into. Other considerations include:
- Whether a spouse needs alimony
- Whether the other party can afford to pay
- The ages, physical, and mental conditions of the spouses
- Property division after divorce
- Standards of living enjoyed in the marriage
- The contributions of each spouse in the marriage
- Minor child(ren)
- Spouses’ separate properties
- Education levels of each spouse
- Spouses’ earning capacities
Is there a Formula on How Much I Can Receive in Alimony?
Unlike Tennessee child support calculations, where you can pre-determine precisely how much you are likely to receive from the non-custodial parent, there is usually no such formula for alimony. Instead, the amount is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the unique circumstances of the ex-spouses and their children (if any).
The court looks into the supporting spouse’s earning capacity, which is determined by their:
- Income from savings
- Income from assets
- Income from capital gains
- Income from dividends
- Income from interest
- Ability to earn
- Historical earnings
Thereafter, the jury also looks into the supporting spouse’s expenses, including:
- Housing costs
- General living expenses
The amount of money remaining after the supporting spouse’s expenses are deducted from their earning capacity is considered their ability to pay alimony. To determine what should be paid, the judge will also look into the supported spouse’s lifestyle while in the marriage. If there are reasonable needs, the court might consider its sustenance through alimony.
How Does Voluntary Unemployment Impact Alimony?
Most people don’t know that alimony is not determined or calculated based on actual income, but on the earning potential. Therefore, one cannot escape an obligation to support a needy ex-spouse by quitting a well-paying job for a lower-paying one. What can happen is that you will be awarded the appropriate alimony, and they will accrue it as debt until they decide to find the right employment.
Similarly, you cannot quit employment with the goal of gaining spousal support in a divorce. If you were fired for some reason, you might get alimony, but for a limited period. So, before making any serious decisions, remember to ask the experienced Tennessee alimony lawyers whether it is beneficial or detrimental to your case.
Do Long Marriages Guarantee Alimony?
The mere fact that one was married for a long time before the divorce does not guarantee alimony in Tennessee. For instance, a 20-year long marriage can end up with no alimony if the spouses have similar earnings.
In contrast, another couple could be married for five years, but the court establishes a need for support. The supported spouse might receive alimony despite the divorce coming after a short period in marriage.
So, basically, alimony is not directly proportional to the length of previous marital bliss. Alimony can possibly be granted in both long and short marriages, provided the court deems it necessary. You can convince the jury to see that you deserve to receive it with the help of an alimony attorney in Kingston, TN.
Is Alimony Taxable in Tennessee?
The laws on alimony taxes changed after 2019. People awarded alimony in 2018 or earlier used to treat their alimony payment as income and pay taxes for them. Those awarded in 2019 going forward don’t have to gamble with this tax obligation in Tennessee.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) obliges the spouse paying alimony to pay income tax on the money. You, on the other hand, needn’t account for the payment as income. For more information on this taxation law, consult with experienced Kingston alimony lawyers.
Family Law Attorneys Offering Advice and Assistance
Fighting for justice has never been easy, but you can lessen the burden by working with an experienced legal representative. Alimony, for instance, needs a team dedicated to these types of cases. The team at Davis Law Firm can handle all manner of issues in family law, and you can hire us for all your legal issues.
Adjusting to the new way of life is challenging enough, and it is only fair if you let us fight for you. Talk to us today at (865) 354-3333 to begin a journey towards financial stability and security after your divorce.