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What are the different types of alimony in Tennessee?

One of your first thoughts after separating from your spouse in Nashville is whether or not you may be entitled to alimony. If they were the primary wage-earner in your home, then it may seem only natural that you be supported in some way if you no longer have that income to rely on. The awarding of alimony, however, is not automatic, nor is based simply on the fact that your ex-spouse earned more than you do. Rather, the court's main concern is that you be in a position to enjoy a standard of living similar to what you did while married once your divorce is finalized. 

If your professional skills allow you to immediately secure gainful employment (or you have already moved on into another supportive relationship), then the matter of alimony may not even be considered. Yet if the court does choose to award you alimony, then it will assign one of four different types. According to Section 36-5-121 of Tennessee's Domestic Relations Code, these are: 

  • Rehabilitative alimony
  • Transitional alimony
  • Alimony in futuro
  • Alimony in solido 

Transitional alimony and alimony in solido are short-term solutions. They are typically awarded when the issue of your supporting yourself is not in doubt, but rather your need assistance handling the expenses related to the end of your marriage (transitional alimony is paid out in a series of payments, whereas alimony in solido is paid in a lump sum). 

You may be awarded rehabilitative alimony for the time that it takes you to build up your professionals skills to the point of meriting a well-paying job. If your circumstances make the prospect of supporting yourself difficult, the court may then award alimony in futuro (or periodic alimony). Your ex-spouse may be required to pay such alimony until you re-marry or pass away. 

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