Alimony Lawyers in Clarksville Protecting Your Financial Interests
Finances often quickly become a major factor in divorces. Both parties want to protect their financial interests and ensure that they are getting everything they are entitled to in the divorce settlement. Alimony is a factor that can apply to many divorce situations, but it’s also something that is widely misunderstood. If you think that your situation qualifies for alimony payments, it’s important to have a full understanding of what alimony is and how it is handled in the Tennessee family courts. While we’ve provided a short overview below, it’s best to talk with an experienced family law attorney about your specific situation to truly understand whether alimony may be ordered in your divorce and what you can do to protect your financial interests.
Getting a divorce means recalibrating all of your finances, and it’s important to understand how alimony payments may factor into this. Whether you anticipate paying or think you will be receiving alimony payments as part of your divorce settlement, it’s important to talk to an attorney about what to expect and your responsibilities. Call Hibbeler & Associates today to learn more about how Tennessee handles alimony and what you can expect.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is a term used to describe financial support payments that are paid from one party to another after a divorce. It is also sometimes referred to as spousal support. Either party can request alimony, but it is usually ordered in cases where the financial status and outlook of the spouses differ significantly. For example, if one spouse is working as a doctor and the other has been a stay-at-home parent, the courts may award alimony to the unemployed party to give them time to establish themselves independently. In Tennessee, alimony can be ordered as monthly payments or a one-time lump sum.
When Does Alimony Apply?
While some states have a minimum length of marriage required to receive alimony payments, Tennessee isn’t one of them. This means that, theoretically, even if you’ve only been married a few months, alimony could be on the table. However, it’s more common for alimony to be awarded in cases when the marriage was long enough to establish financial dependence by one party on the other. It’s also important to note that there are a few kinds of alimony in Tennessee, and payments may be awarded on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the specific circumstances of the marriage.
What Determines the Amount of Alimony?
The main factor that determines the amount of alimony is the parties’ financial situation. When deciding whether to award alimony — and how much — the courts look at each party’s finances in depth. This includes their current income, future earning potential, liquid assets, and even what physical assets — such as a home — each party might get in the divorce. In general, the larger the disparity between the two parties financially, the higher the alimony payment. High-asset divorces also usually have larger alimony payments if the courts award them.
How Long Do I Have to Pay Alimony?
If you’ve been ordered to pay alimony, one of your first questions is likely, “When do the payments stop?” And like many issues in family law, the answer is, “it depends.” When the alimony is ordered, the courts will include the length of the term and what conditions can terminate the alimony early. For example, it’s common for alimony payments to stop if the receiving party remarries because the courts have the expectation that there is no longer the need for extra financial support. In general, the longer the marriage, the longer alimony is ordered.
If you have questions about alimony and how it may factor into your case, reach out to a family law attorney at Hibbeler & Associates as soon as possible. Knowing what your rights are and what possibility of alimony exists in your case can inform your legal strategy as you navigate the divorce process. Call our Clarksville office at 931-236-2711 to speak with a member of our team or schedule a free consultation.