For many people, divorce means wiping the slate clean and starting over. Unfortunately, these same people rush through their divorces and do not take the time to budget what they need in terms of the divorce settlement.

For example, some people simply want to finish their divorce as fast a possible and will agree to everything their spouse want without giving much thought to their finances.

If you are planning to divorce, it is important that you think about your current and future financial situation so that you can make sure you receive the divorce settlement you deserve. If your husband was the main bread winner, it is possible that you might be able to include alimony as part of your divorce.

Here is some basic information about alimony so that you have an idea of what to expect if spousal support is included in your settlement.

Determining alimony

While most states, including Tennessee, have strict guidelines when it comes to child support, the court has much more discretion when it determines the appropriate amount of alimony one spouse should pay and the other should receive.

To determine how much alimony a divorcing spouse should pay and for how long, the court will typically consider several factors. These include each spouse’s ages, financial situations and physical and mental health. The court will also take into consideration how long it will take you to become self-sufficient. Additionally, the court will examine your standard of living during your marriage, how long your marriage lasted and your future ex-husband’s ability to support himself while paying alimony.

Compliance with a support order

Unlike child support, a failure to pay alimony typically does not result in wage garnishment or liens. However, if your spouse refuses to pay alimony as prescribed by the divorce decree, you may return to court so that the judge can take steps to enforce the order for payment.

Alimony termination

In general, alimony payments are not indefinite. This is because alimony exists so that the recipient can eventually become self-supporting and provide his or her own support.

In some cases, the divorce decree will include a hard date for termination or perhaps the settlement specifically states that one spouse will pay alimony until he or she retires. Sometimes the divorce decree does not include an alimony termination date and the length of support will be at the discretion of the court.

If you are considering divorce, it is vital to make a full examination of your financial situation to determine what you need from the settlement. Alimony might be a good option to help you maintain financial security while you start your new life.