Alimony is supposed to be temporary and rehabilitative, hence the term rehabilitative alimony. If temporary alimony cannot bring about rehabilitation, then the court can, in proper circumstances, order alimony on a long-term or indefinite basis. Transitional alimony is awarded when the court finds rehabilitation is not necessary, but a spouse still needs some assistance. Indefinite alimony is called alimony in futuro. Alimony in futuro is granted less often these days. Alimony in futuro can be raised or lowered over time if there is a change of circumstances. If you do not get alimony at the time of the divorce, you cannot get alimony later on. Alimony in solido is a definite amount of money or property awarded instead of periodic payments, and it cannot be modified. Technically, husbands can get alimony from wives, but it seldom happens. In Tennessee, a statute applies to alimony. See the Alimony Appendix for the exact wording of the statute.
Alimony is based upon the relative needs and resources of the parties. The legislature set out criteria for the court to consider and they include the following:
Relative earning capacity, needs and obligations, this includes income from pension, profit sharing and all sources;
Education and ability of the parties, as well as opportunities for additional education;
Length of the marriage;
Age, physical, and mental condition of the two parties;
Whether or not one of the parties should stay at home with the child(ren) of the parties instead of working;
Separate property a person has;
Marital property a person gets;
Standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage;
Tangible and intangible contributions of a homemaker and the tangible and intangible contributions of one party to the education, training, or increased earning power or the other party;
Fault of one of the parties (if the court wants to);
Other factors that the court considers appropriate.
Living with someone after the divorce, regardless of whether you have sex or not, may cause alimony in futuro or rehabilitative alimony to be lowered or stopped. Death of one of the persons paying or receiving alimony or marriage of the person receiving alimony will terminate alimony in futuro and rehabilitative alimony unless the divorce settlement agreement provides otherwise. The court can require life insurance as a bond or put a lien on property to ensure the payment of alimony or child support.