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Does Fault in Alimony Apply in Tennessee?

Gavel on top of money

During the divorce process, one spouse may ask the other for alimony — a court-ordered payment from one spouse to the other. Typically alimony is awarded after a divorce is finalized but it can be given to a spouse before the court issues a final decision. Alimony is given when the financial resources between the two parties would be uneven and equate to one party potentially suffering if they did not have the spousal support.

Fault In the Marriage

When going through a divorce, Tennessee courts can determine if there was a fault in the marriage or a wrong-doing that ultimately ended the marriage. Marital fault could be for reasons such as:

  • Cheating;
  • Addictions;
  • Physical or emotional abuse; and,
  • Improper use of finances.

It doesn’t matter in the eyes of the law which spouse committed an act, like those listed above, that ultimately led to the divorce. However, the court does take into consideration the length of the marriage if alimony has been requested.

If spouses have been married for less than seven years the courts will consider that a short-term marriage. If the marriage is longer than seven years the marriage is considered long-term. This matters as someone in a short-term marriage may be more financially independent compared to someone in a long-term marriage. Those in a short-term marriage are more likely to have had their own finances secured prior to the marriage and are more likely to be stable on their own should a divorce happen. This is not always the case, though, and judges consider all factors when it comes to awarding alimony.

If the spouse asking for alimony is the one who committed the fault, they could potentially still be awarded alimony but it may be reduced because they were the one who caused the fault in the marriage. Again, there are many factors when it comes to determining alimony, so it’s best to have an experienced law team representing you before you go to a judge.

Alimony Attorneys in Tennessee

If you are considering divorce, whether or not you’re at fault, and you believe alimony may be either awarded to you or you’ll have to pay it to your spouse, you’ll want a team who knows how the law is carried out in Tennessee. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients get the best possible outcome and we will work our hardest for you. Contact our office today at (855) 919-4124.