There is no set formula—or even explicit guidelines for courts to follow—when it comes to calculating how much one party might be expected to provide the other as alimony in a divorce case. Different situations can call for unique spousal support orders, and factors that may be crucial to one case may be completely irrelevant to another.
All that said, determining spousal support payments in Hamilton County is far from an impossible task, and it is generally a much easier one with assistance from a knowledgeable spousal support attorney. By working with capable legal counsel, you could more effectively pursue a support order that serves your best interests without being surprised by any procedural rules or expectations.
Aside from the lack of specific rules for calculating it, another key difference between child support and spousal support in Tennessee is that courts do not always find that the latter is even necessary. If both parties in a marriage have their own independent incomes and promising career opportunities moving forward, direct financial ties between them may end with the division of marital property and assets without either individual needing to provide additional support to the other.
However, there are many scenarios where a court may find that some amount of spousal support is appropriate, with the most influential factor usually being the amount of time both parties were married to each other. Alimony tends to be ordered more often after the dissolution of marriages that previously lasted for decades, largely based on one party being unable to properly care for themselves after being supported by their spouse for many years.
Other factors that may affect how spousal support payments are determined in Hamilton County include:
Qualified legal counsel could discuss these factors in more detail and potentially help emphasize certain elements over others during spousal support proceedings.
Even if a court does find it appropriate to order alimony following a divorce, that order will rarely last forever. Most of the time, spousal support payments in Hamilton County have a set end date or set ending conditions. For example, once a certain amount has been paid in set installments, or until the recipient has been reimbursed for contributions made to their marriage or obtained enough training or education to become self-sufficient.
Long-term periodic—or in futuro—alimony is generally only awarded in situations where the recipient spouse will likely never be able to support themselves after separating from the paying spouse. If the recipient is physically or cognitively disabled to the point that they will never become self-sufficient, spousal support payments may go on indefinitely.
Figuring out what amount of spousal support you might owe or be owed after a divorce can be a very subjective process in Tennessee. There is no standardized way to calculate support obligations of this nature, and the specific case you present for or against such payments can have a huge impact on what type of order a court ultimately issues.
When determining spousal support payments in Hamilton County, there is no substitute for a tenacious attorney’s guidance. Call today to learn more.