A Nashville Divorce Attorney Answers 3 Common Questions about AlimonyWhen it comes to getting accurate information about what to expect when you are going through a divorce, your coworkers and friends are not always the most accurate sources. The fact that someone you know has gone through a divorce does not mean that the same challenges or strategies will apply to you. Your smartest option is to meet with a knowledgeable Nashville divorce attorney who can offer legal advice that applies directly to your circumstances.

The subject of alimony is one of those aspects of divorce upon which everyone seems to be an expert, but few people have accurate information to share. Here are just three of the questions that we keep hearing, and our answers about alimony in Tennessee divorces:

1.   Question: If one party commits adultery, can the other party can get the upper hand and receive a higher amount of spousal support?

Answer: While Alimony is not meant to be punitive, fault in the demise of the marriage can effect an alimony award, particularly in the form of attorney fees. Alimony is a payment from one spouse, who has greater financial capacity, to the other spouse, who has more limited finances. However, if one party is unfaithful (for example), the court may take this into consideration when determining whether an award of alimony is appropriate. This is particularly true with regard to an award of attorney fees, which is considered a form of alimony in Tennessee. The court also considers about a dozen factors including each spouse’s age, the length of the marriage, earning capacity, level of education, the couple’s lifestyle during the marriage and others, when determining whether and how much spousal support may be appropriate.

The judge has the discretion to consider the facts of the case and decide what role if any the infidelity might play in deciding on spousal support.

2.   Question: If the marriage lasted for a long time (more than ten years) will spousal support be granted automatically?

Answer: The length of the marriage alone is not what determines whether a spouse should receive spousal support after the divorce is final. Other factors, such as whether the spouse with limited financial resources is making an effort to seek training or education towards a higher paying profession, and whether the receiving spouse can support themselves, are considered as well.

3.   Question: Can alimony be modified or terminated in Tennessee?

Answer: Tennessee law recognizes four different types of alimony: Periodic alimony, transitional alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and lump sum alimony. There are rules about each type of alimony that dictate whether it can be modified or terminated. Also, the divorce agreement will specify if the alimony may be modified and under which circumstances that might be appropriate. If the alimony is ordered by a judge, then it depends on the terms that the court has established. When the receiving party cohabitates with a romantic partner, this can be grounds for having their support reduced or eliminated depending on the type and purpose of the spousal support.

Every divorce case is unique, so if you have questions about whether you might get spousal support in a divorce, or how child custody might be decided, you are advised to schedule an in-person or video consultation with a Nashville divorce attorney who has proven experience in helping clients through the challenging process of divorce. At Karla C. Miller and Associates, our entire practice is focused on family law. We are here to protect your rights and make sure that you get what you need from your divorce.

When it has become clear that your marriage is over and it is time to end it, your mind is probably full of questions about what happens next. You are welcome to call 615-391-4200 or contact the experienced Nashville divorce attorneys at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC to discuss your case. Please reserve an in-person or video consultation time with us, and we will explain your options.