Tennessee’s factors in determining alimony

As you enter into divorce proceedings in Nashville, you may be expecting to be awarded alimony (especially if you out your career ambitions on hold to see to the domestic responsibilities in your home while your spouse worked). Many who come to see us here at Rogers, Kama & Shea have the same assumption, and are equally as shocked as you may be to learn that alimony is not automatically awarded, but rather only considered in those situations where you may not be able secure gainful employment immediately upon the end of your marriage.

While your divorce will no doubt impact your lifestyle, the ultimate goal is that both you and your ex-spouse will be able to enjoy a similar quality of life to the one that you did while married. If it is believed that your professional skill set would allow you to quickly find a job that will allow you to do so, the court may very well determine that alimony is not warranted in your case.

Yet the determination of whether or not you may need alimony goes beyond your professional situation. According to Section 36-5-121 of Tennessee’s Domestic Relations Code, the court considers the following (on top of your education, professional training and earning capacity) when deciding if you should awarded alimony:

  • How long your marriage lasted
  • Yours and your spouse’s age, physical and mental condition
  • Each of your respective assets
  • The tax implications of an alimony award
  • Any sacrifices you or your spouse made to further the career ambitions of the other
  • Whether your duties to your children make it realistic to expect that you work outside the home

The court may also consider the factors that contributed to the end of your marriage. More information on Tennessee’s alimony guidelines can be found here on our site.