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Spousal support is often a central focal point in divorce cases in Tennessee. This is particularly true when one spouse is disadvantaged in relation to the other spouse. Often one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent while the other spouse has been the primary breadwinner.


There are no set guidelines or requirements for spousal support in Tennessee. In recent years, courts have been more and more reluctant to order long-term alimony as part of a divorce ruling. Even so, long-term alimony is appropriate in certain cases. Additionally, there are several alternatives to long term alimony that exist in Tennessee.

Types of Alimony Available in Tennessee

There are generally four types of alimony available in Tennessee, each with its own unique characteristics. The first and oldest type of alimony is long-term alimony, referred to in the law as alimony in futuro. Newer and more common are transitional alimony and rehabilitative alimony, which are generally for a set period. Finally, alimony in solido is the payment of a set sum of money over a determinate period of time. 


There are several factors to consider when negotiating for alimony.  Alimony is generally not tax-deductible to the payor and is not includable in the income of the recipient. Some types of alimony are considered non-modifiable. Determining which type of alimony to either offer or seek, depending on which side of the table you are on, requires the guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.

Building a Strong Case to Support your Position

Alimony is not automatically awarded in Tennessee, and the courts have broad discretion to award it or not. The parties can always agree to alimony as part of the marital dissolution agreement. Such an agreement is contractual in nature. However, unlike other types of contracts, an alimony provision in a marital dissolution agreement is enforceable by the court's contempt powers. This means if the spouse obligated to pay fails, the court has the power to send the defaulting spouse to jail. 


There are a number of factors the court will consider when deciding whether to make an award of alimony. Each case is different and will be determined based on the specific facts. The state legislature has set forth 12 factors the courts are to take into consideration, including:


  • The need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay

  • The length of the marriage

  • Whether one party is more at fault than the other party

  • The age and health condition of the parties

  • Whether one party is disadvantaged relative to the other party


When you hire our firm, we will put forth the most robust possible case for or against an alimony award based on your particular situation. It is imperative to have an experienced alimony and spousal support lawyer in your corner who understands the law and will fight for you. No matter on which side of the table you find yourself, we are committed to securing the most favorable outcome on your behalf.

Contact a Tennessee Alimony and Spousal Support Attorney

Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation at our conveniently located offices in Memphis, Tennessee by calling us at 901-410-5490, or in Franklin, Tennessee by calling us at 615-656-7920 or by sending us an email at


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