Strategic Knoxville Alimony Attorneys
Protecting your right to a solid and strong financial future after divorce
Getting divorced can be downright scary, especially when you’re facing an uncertain financial future. Going from a two-adult household to a one-adult household is a big change, and not one that every person can do without support. You’ve spent a lot of time living together, and nobody can be expected to just start over with nothing. That’s where alimony comes in.
Spousal support, or alimony, ensures that you’re not left in financial shambles while your ex walks away with everything. Here in Tennessee, judges have broad discretion to decide alimony on a case-by-case basis. This means that a spouse paying alimony (in fancy terms, “the payor”) could be ordered to provide regular or periodic payments, a lump-sum contribution or even no alimony at all. With all the possible outcomes, you’re gonna need a capable lawyer to stand up for you.
Psssst – if you’re in the Knoxville area, that’s us! Give LaFevor & Slaughter a call and we’ll talk.
Do I automatically get alimony when I get divorced?
You might not know that alimony is not 100% guaranteed in Tennessee, which is kind of a bummer. However, alimony is required when one spouse has the ability to pay and the other spouse has the need for support. Our job is to make that difference real clear to the judge, so that you can get that support before, during, or after your divorce.
We take care of the worry, the work, and the fighting for you, so you can focus on a fresh future.
Why does Tennessee have so many types of alimony? Can I pick my favorite?
Tennessee courts can award four different types of alimony, depending on your or your partner’s needs and circumstances. And, although you can’t technically pick a favorite, if you and your spouse are able to work together, you can come up with your own plan and leave the judge out of it entirely. And that’s the ultimate goal – a solution that works for and benefits you.
So, let’s talk alimony.
Alimony in solido
We also call this lump-sum alimony. “Solido” loosely translates to “for the whole” in legal context, so you’ve learned some legalese today (good job!). By the way, lots of lawyers love to use Latin phrases because they think it makes them look smart! We would rather make sure you understand what everything means so you can make the best decisions for you and your family. The court typically uses alimony in solido to balance out an uneven property division. For example, perhaps one of you got the house – worth a whole lotta money – and one of you didn’t. A judge may award the “houseless” spouse alimony in solido to make things more equal.
Just like its name, transitional alimony helps one spouse financially transition from married life to single life. This lasts for only a certain period and ends on the date specified in your divorced ruling. If you were only married a short time, this might be the only option available.
The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is rehabilitating (go figure) the earning capacity of one spouse post-divorce. This helps put you both on equal footing in terms of earning potential, giving the lower-earning spouse financial support with education, training, or other experiences to get back in the workforce.
Alimony in futuro
This is long-term alimony – we’re talking “rest of your life” long – typically used for special circumstances or long marriages. A judge might award this type of alimony when rehabilitative alimony isn’t possible. Alimony in futuro isn’t as common as it used to be, but judges still use it when needed.
All these different types of alimony might seem a bit confusing, and that’s because they are. You don’t have to understand all the details; that’s our job. We can go over all possible options with you and figure out your specific needs.
How much alimony will I get from my Knoxville divorce?
Well first, let’s remember that alimony isn’t guaranteed.
There, now that that’s out of the way, we’ll go over how Tennessee courts handle spousal support and what you might expect during and after your divorce. Some couples are able to agree on alimony and won’t need the court to intervene. If you and your spouse can’t, though, we have no problem taking it to litigation. Judges consider a variety of factors when they hand down decisions on alimony, including things like:
- Your ages
- The length of your marriage
- Your standard of living
- Your marital incomes, assets, and debts
- Your separate assets and debts
- Your potential for future income
- Each spouse’s mental and physical health
- Any pre- or postnuptial agreements in effect
- Each spouse’s individual contribution to the marriage
- Whether or not there were grounds for divorce
- Any other relevant circumstances
Unlike many other states, Tennessee doesn’t use a specific calculator when determining alimony. (Why make things that easy?). Instead, it’s done on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of a judge. What does that mean for you? You don’t have a lot of control over how your alimony is decided. And once it’s done, it’s done. If you and your spouse want to keep the decision in your own hands, consider mediation. This will keep you both out of the courtroom and, bonus, out of the local gossip.
Can I get my Knoxville alimony order changed? It’s not working for me anymore.
Listen – we know that nobody can predict the future, and we also know that things change. Maybe you’re not in the same place in your life that you were when you got divorced, and your alimony order just doesn’t make sense anymore. You don’t have to be bound by an agreement that doesn’t work, and if the court agrees, you can file for a modification of your divorce decree.
You can’t just decide you want your alimony changed, though; you’ll have to show a significant change in circumstances to warrant a modification of your alimony order. This might include a substantial increase or decrease in income, if you or your ex-spouse remarry, if one spouse develops an illness or disability, or other important life changes. Our Knoxville alimony attorneys can help you determine whether or not you might be eligible for a modification of your divorce order.
How long will I get alimony? How long will I have to pay alimony?
We get this question a lot, and for good reason. The Tennessee alimony system can be confusing. Generally, though, how long alimony will last depends on the type of alimony awarded by the court, unless you and your spouse spelled out how to handle it in a prenup or postnup.
Alimony may be temporary, permanent, or delivered in a lump sum. Often, alimony ends upon the remarriage or death of an ex-spouse – but not always. We don’t expect you to understand the ins and outs of Tennessee’s complex alimony system. Our job is to provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed choices about your future.
What makes LaFevor & Slaughter the right choice
The attorneys at LaFevor & Slaughter have decades of experience, much of which has been devoted to family law, divorce, postnup agreements, child support and spousal support issues. But we’re more than just years in the industry.
We know the standards of fairness the court relies on. We carefully examine your personal finances and those of your spouse to prepare a strong case based on thoroughly researched, objective data. We are skilled, determined negotiators who know how to present your facts in the most favorable light and persuasively argue for your best possible outcome. We’re happy to talk to you today about your situation and then get busy working for you.
Here’s some other stuff you can read, if you want to, about alimony:
- Attention: The Tax Law Will Affect Alimony and Child Support in 2019
- Increasing Numbers of Women are Now Paying Alimony and Child Support in Divorce
- Can I Expect to Get Permanent Alimony in TN?
Contact a knowledgeable alimony lawyer in Knoxville
Tennessee has some of the most complex alimony laws in the country. When you’re going through a divorce, you shouldn’t need to feel like you have to go to law school to understand your options. Let the family law attorneys at LaFevor & Slaughter do the heavy lifting and fight for your best interests. To schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to call us at (865) 637-6258 or fill out our contact form.