Can Alimony Be Spent on Anything?
Alimony – also called spousal maintenance or spousal support – can be a sensitive subject when discussing divorce. Many spouses feel that their spouse doesn’t deserve financial support given the circumstances, or perhaps the amount determined by the courts is too much. Others fear that their soon-to-be-ex will squander their hard-earned money on needless comforts. And they will have to stand by and watch it happen.
How is alimony determined?
Tennessee, as is the case in most states, does not follow a set formula for determining whether alimony should be awarded, the amount of alimony, or the frequency. In Tennessee, the preference is for alimony to be temporary and for rehabilitative purposes.
Several factors come into play when arriving at this decision, including:
- the age of the spouses
- length of the marriage
- emotional and physical condition of each spouse
- earning capacity of each spouse
- education, ability, and training of each spouse
- division of marital property in the divorce
- individual assets of each spouse
- standard of living prior to divorce
- contributions to the marriage — financial or otherwise
- tax consequences for each spouse
In short, the courts can consider any factors that they deem to be relevant in determining alimony. Need and ability to pay are the guiding principles in most cases. It is important to note that alimony must be awarded at the time of divorce; it cannot be obtained after the fact.
How long is alimony required?
Alimony may be required for varying amounts of time, depending upon the individual circumstances. The purpose of alimony is to lessen the financial hardship of divorce, providing the necessary monetary support to the more financially dependent spouse. If either spouse dies or the spouse receiving the support remarries, alimony is terminated. The terms of alimony may be modified in certain circumstances.
Can my ex spend alimony on anything?
Yes. Much to the dismay of many spouses providing alimony, your ex can spend spousal support any way they like. Because alimony is typically ordered for a short period of time, it is in the best interests of the recipient to think of alimony payments as an investment in the future, but they are not legally obligated to do so.
Spousal support issues? We can help
Divorce is messy. Issues of child custody, child support, and alimony can make even the best divorce proceeding emotionally draining. We understand and are here to help. The skilled Murfreesboro divorce attorneys at Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law are experienced handling every aspect of divorce. Our knowledgeable team fights aggressively on your behalf for the best possible outcome in your divorce. Contact us today at 615-890-1982 or online and arrange a free confidential consultation to discuss your situation.