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Alimony basics in Tennessee

Spousal support, or alimony, is normally awarded to an individual who has given up the ability to make money due to a marriage. This can include supporting a spouse who gave up their career or stayed home to take care of children. Alimony exists to provide the spouse with less income the ability to support themselves after a divorce.

Judges have a fair amount of discretion when it comes to determining if a person will be awarded alimony and how much they will be paid. However, most states and judges use the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act as a guideline.

Things that a judge will consider are how long a couple was married, the age and physical condition of the couple, and the couple's standard of living when they were married. Other factors in determining alimony can include how long it will take the spouse to be able to support themselves and the paying spouse's ability to provide financial support.

Spousal support can be helpful to a person who is making less money due to sacrifices made during a marriage, but it is important that it does not prevent the paying spouse from being able to take care of themselves. Major life changes, such as the loss of a job or a serious injury, can prevent people from being able to make as much money as they did when alimony was awarded. In these cases, people may be able to obtain an alimony modification, which could lower the amount of money that they are required to pay their ex-spouse. A lawyer could explain the process for requesting a modification of spousal support payments.

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