Tennessee post-divorce alimony assortment matter.
The husband and spouse on this Shelby County, Tennessee, had been married in 1992 and separated in 2017. The entered right into a marital dissolution settlement (MDA) which referred to as for the husband to pay the spouse $1800 per 30 days till the mortgage was paid in full. It additional offered that if the spouse bought the property, he would proceed to pay $1800 per 30 days till the payoff quantity was paid in full.
The spouse later filed a petition for civil contempt, stating that the husband had didn’t comply.
The MDA didn’t specify what kind of alimony the fee was. The husband argued that earlier than the query of contempt could possibly be addressed, the alimony needed to be first categorized. He argued that it needs to be categorized as alimony in futuro, because the complete quantity was not ascertainable on the time of award. And because the spouse had remarried, the alimony obligation was terminated.
The trial courtroom disagreed, and held that the alimony was alimony in solido, which doesn’t terminate upon remarriage. The husband had relied upon his lawyer’s recommendation in not paying, and for that motive, his conduct was held to be not willful. However he was ordered to pay an arrearage of over $64,000, plus lawyer’s charges of over $34,000. The husband then appealed to the Tennessee Courtroom of Appeals.
The appeals courtroom cited a 1999 Tennessee Supreme Court case which holds that if an alimony award accommodates contingencies that will have an effect on the quantity, then it’s alimony in futuro. However the courtroom agreed with the decrease courtroom that this rule didn’t apply. After analyzing the MDA, it concluded that the quantity was particular and ascertainable, although there was a contingency as as to if it might be paid in installments or a lump sum. Because of this, it affirmed the decrease courtroom’s ruling: Because the alimony was correctly characterised as being alimony in solido, it didn’t terminate upon the spouse’s remarriage.
The appeals courtroom additionally affirmed the award of lawyer’s charges at trial. And because the MDA offered for lawyer’s charges, it additionally awarded her charges for the enchantment. It remanded the case to the decrease courtroom to find out the quantity.
No. W2022-01187-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 18, 2023).
See unique opinion for precise language. Authorized citations omitted.
To be taught extra, see Alimony Regulation in Tennessee, and our video, How is alimony determined in Tennessee?