Nashville Same-Sex Divorce Lawyers Assist Clients Seeking Alimony

Comprehensive counsel for LGBTQ clients regarding spousal support in Tennessee

Alimony awards are typically granted to spouses who are at a financial disadvantage after a divorce. It is not guaranteed, but a judge will often consider alimony when one spouse has a considerably smaller income, or simply needs some help while he or she readjusts to single life. Discussions about alimony can quickly become contentious, as some spouses feel they deserve more, and others feel they should have to pay less.

At Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC, our Nashville same-sex divorce lawyers help clients navigate the waters of alimony awards. We understand that LGBTQ individuals will face a different set of challenges unique to them when it comes time to request spousal support. Let us put our years of experience handling complex claims to work for you.

Who is eligible for alimony in Tennessee?

Under Tennessee law, you must make a request for alimony: a judge will not automatically grant the award. In order to be eligible, you must be able to prove that you will be at a financial disadvantage because of, or once you are, divorced.

How is alimony calculated?

There is no set guideline for alimony in Tennessee; it is completely at the judge’s discretion. However, there are certain factors that might play a role in whether or not someone is awarded alimony. They include:

  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Contributions made by each spouse to the marriage (financial or otherwise)
  • How the assets and debts are divided
  • The set-up of the parenting plan and child custody agreements
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The education level and/or job skills of each spouse

Based on these factors – along with any other evidence and information available for review – the judge may award spousal support. In Tennessee, there are four kinds of awards: alimony in solido, which can be paid in one lump sum or in installments; rehabilitative, which allows the dependent spouse time to learn a new skill or earn a degree, or to find a way to increase his or her earning capacity; alimony in futuro, which usually lasts until the spouse remarries or dies; and transitional alimony, a short-term award designed to help the dependent spouse transition into single life.

Challenges for same-sex couples when it comes to alimony

Because same-sex marriage was not recognized in Tennessee until June of 2015, calculating alimony can be difficult. A couple married for 10 years in another state, who has only lived in Tennessee for one year, may not have the full 10 years calculated into the alimony award. Though a lesser award may appeal to the payee, the dependent spouse may face an uphill battle. This could be further complicated by couples who have always lived in Tennessee, but were not able to be legally married until 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges. Barring a pre-nup, you may have no legal standing for alimony at all. However, if you and your spouse reach an agreement about support before presenting it to the judge, you will have a better chance at having your wishes met.

Because alimony awards are subjective, you want a Nashville divorce lawyer who understands not only the laws, but who can anticipate potential problems before they arise. Our firm provides comprehensive, aggressive representation for clients throughout Middle Tennessee, and fights to protect their best interests.

Learn more about alimony in same-sex divorce cases in Nashville

Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC provides client-centered strategies and assertive representation on behalf of clients in and around Nashville. Our same-sex divorce attorneys understand that issues like alimony and support can led to additional challenges, and we know how to address them quickly and efficiently. To reserve an in-person or video consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 615-391-4200, or fill out our contact form.