No matter the circumstance, divorce or legal separation can have a significant impact on your financial health. If you are considering a divorce and trying to understand how to decide alimony arrangements or would like to modify an existing alimony arrangement, it is crucial that you consult with a knowledgeable alimony & spousal support attorney immediately.

The Law Offices of Fisher Wise is proud to serve individuals and couples in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and other surrounding areas, including Red Bank, East Ridge, Soddy-Daisy, Hamilton County, Bradley County, Bledsoe County Marion County, Sequatchie County, and Rhea County.

What Is Alimony/Spousal Support?

Also referred to as spousal support, alimony is a court-ordered payment or financial support provided by one spouse to the other spouse during, or for a period after, a divorce. Several factors are often considered by the court to determine whether to award alimony, the amount of alimony to award, as well as how long financial support will continue.

How Is Spousal Support Awarded during a Divorce?

During a divorce, the court may decide to award spousal support to one of the ex-spouses, depending on the existing agreement between the couples or a decision by the court itself. However, in the state of Tennessee, different factors are taken into account when awarding spousal support during a divorce. These include;

  • The age, mental state, and physical condition of each spouse.

  • The earning capacity, needs, obligations, and financial condition of each spouse.

  • The length of the marriage.

  • The individual assets of each spouse.

  • The standard of living of the couple during the marriage.

  • The level of education and training of each spouse, and the length of time the recipient would need for education or training to find employment, increase earning capacity, and become self-sufficient.

  • The ability of the spouse providing financial support to support the recipient and still support himself/herself.

However, if you and your spouse will like to have control over the type, amount, and duration of alimony, you can negotiate with each other and come to an agreement. So far as the agreement is fair to both spouses, it will be honored by the court.



What If I Want To Change Or Enforce an Existing Spousal Support Arrangement?

Tennessee law (TN Code § 36-5-101 (2018)) states that, upon dissolution of a marriage, the court is allowed to review, modify, or terminate an alimony arrangement if the requesting party demonstrates a considerable and material change of circumstances.

Changing the Arrangement

Scenarios that can cause you to change the existing spousal support arrangement include:

  • Changes in Income: You lose your job and can’t pay the amount you were originally ordered to pay due to a drop in income.

  • Cost of Living Changes: Increase in your cost of living can cause you to modify the alimony agreement since your area is now more expensive.

  • Self-Sufficiency: There is a decreased need to provide financial support because the recipient has become self-sufficient.

  • Physical or Mental Condition: You are unable to support yourself due to a mental or physical condition.

  • New Child: If you remarry and have another child.

Enforcing the Arrangement

If the other spouse isn’t making (full) payments that were earlier agreed upon, and no agreements can be reached between both parties to modify the amount, duration, and frequency of payment, the receiving spouse can return to court to enforce the spousal support arrangement.

Why You Need an Experienced Attorney

Divorce and spousal support cases in Tennessee can be very complicated. If you believe that circumstances have changed since your divorce and you think your spousal support payments should be reviewed or modified, talk to a knowledgeable family law attorney immediately.

At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I understand how complicated and stressful the entire alimony process can be. I have dedicated my career to handling matters related to divorce, child custody, alimony, and spousal support. As an experienced family law attorney, I can help with every aspect of your divorce or spousal support modification.

Even if your spouse is not making (full) payments and you need to enforce an existing agreement or order, I can fight for your rights and attempt to help you get the relief you need. I will represent you strongly and compassionately, and help you pursue a favorable outcome.


If you are considering a divorce and trying to understand how to decide alimony arrangements, call my law firm, the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, to schedule a free consultation. I will help you understand how to decide on, modify, or enforce alimony arrangements. Also, I will be your legal counsel and advocate throughout the entire alimony process. I am proud to serve clients in Chattanooga, Soddy-Daisy, East Ridge, Red Bank, Hamilton County, and the surrounding counties of Tennessee.