Finances are some of the most complex and contentious issues in a divorce. If you are facing the process of ending your marriage, you may have serious concerns about your financial future after the process is final. One of the issues you may be wondering about is whether you will be eligible for alimony.
Alimony is financial support from the higher-earning spouse to the lesser-earning spouse in a divorce. Some Tennessee couples are able to negotiate the terms of their financial order out of court and decide on a fair alimony order, but that is not always the case. If you think you could have a rightful claim to this type of financial support, you may benefit from learning more about alimony and what courts consider when deciding on this matter.
A fair alimony determination
In many marriages, one spouse makes significantly more money than the other spouse. This may be because one of them gave up his or her career to care for the children or to support the career of the other spouse. Divorce can bring about significant financial hardship for a lesser-earning spouse, and the intent of alimony is to offset any economic hardships and challenges brought about by the end of the marriage.
When a couple cannot come to a negotiated agreement regarding alimony, also called spousal support, the court will consider various factors in order to determine a fair amount. Some of these factors include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The income and earning capacities of both spouses
- The standard of living enjoyed by both spouses over the course of the marriage
- How long the recipient needs to find a job or higher-earning employment opportunities
If the marriage lasted for decades or if the lesser-earning spouse is not able to return to the workforce for any reason, the court may reward alimony. However, if you are able to work, but you need time to take classes and find new employment, you may receive alimony on a temporary basis.
Your post-divorce future
Around the negotiating table or in the courtroom, your post-divorce future is on the line. It is in your interests to seek a fair and sustainable outcome, but you may want to first seek the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney. With the right guidance, you can seek an outcome that allows you to look ahead with confidence, knowing your financial interests are secure.