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Spousal Support Law

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When is Spousal Support or Alimony Awarded in Tennessee?

The Tennessee alimony statutes specifically state that, “the contributions to the marriage as homemaker or parent are of equal dignity and importance as economic contributions to the marriage. Further, where one (1) spouse suffers economic detriment for the benefit of the marriage, the general assembly finds that the economically disadvantaged spouse's standard of living after the divorce should be reasonably comparable to the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage or to the post-divorce standard of living expected to be available to the other spouse, considering the relevant statutory factors and the equities between the parties.” A Tennessee Court may order rehabilitative alimony, periodic alimony, transitional alimony, or lump sum alimony.  The Court will consider the following in determining the amount and type of alimony to be awarded:  (1) the relative earning capacity, obligations, need and financial resources of each party; (2) the relative education and training of each party; (3) the duration of the marriage; (4) the age and mental condition of each party; (5) the physical condition of each party including, but not limited to physical disability or incapacity due to chronic debilitating disease; (6) the extent to which it would be undesirable for a party to seek employment outside the home, because such party is the custodian of a minor child of the marriage; (7) the separate assets of each party; (8) the division of marital property; (9) the standard of living established during marriage; (10) the extent to which each party has made such tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage as monetary and homemaker contributions and tangible and intangible contributions by a party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party; (11) the relative fault of the parties; and (12) other factors, including tax consequences, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties. (Tennessee Code Title 36 Domestic Relations Chapter 5 Alimony and Child Support Section 121)