Tennessee case abstract on alimony in divorce after over 30 years of marriage.
The husband and spouse on this Dyer County, Tennessee, case have been married in 1987. Each events had a school diploma. On the time of their marriage, the husband was a First Lieutenant within the U.S. Military. When he retired in 2011, he was a Colonel.
Due to the husband’s navy profession, they moved many occasions. Throughout the early years of their marriage, the spouse held varied minimal wage jobs, however she left the workforce in 1993 to be a stay-at-home mum or dad.
The husband acknowledged that the spouse met all expectations for a navy spouse, and after his retirement, he secured a place with a navy contractor. On the time of their divorce, his base wage was $237,000, with substantial bonuses. He additionally obtained over $6000 monthly in navy pension, and $1500 monthly in navy incapacity on account of a damaged hip from a parachute bounce.
The spouse suffered varied well being issues, and in addition obtained inpatient therapy for alcohol abuse.
After trial, the spouse was awarded half of the husband’s navy retirement pay. She additionally obtained $921,000 in marital property, which was about $50,000 greater than that awarded to the husband. The spouse was additionally awarded alimony in futuro of $4000 monthly for 53 months, after which the quantity was diminished to $750 monthly. The case was then appealed to the Tennessee Court docket of Appeals.
The appeals court docket first seemed on the division of the marital property. The spouse argued that despite the fact that the greenback quantity was set as greater than the husband’s share, she actually wound up with solely 48% of the property, which was skewed within the husband’s favor.
Her argument was based mostly upon money owed that have been assigned to her, however the court docket had discovered that the majority of those money owed have been incurred within the post-separation interval, and that she had used about $183,000 in marital property throughout this era.
However the Court docket of Appeals held that the decrease court docket had acted inside its discretion. It famous, as had the decrease court docket, that the task of money owed to her was attributable to her incurring that debt after separation. It cited a 2016 case approving the same proportion.
The appeals court docket then turned to the alimony award. The spouse argued that $5000 monthly would have been extra applicable within the circumstances. However the appeals court docket agreed with the decrease court docket that her want was not as nice as claimed. It famous that her need to stay in a specific place didn’t make it a necessity. And it additionally identified that whereas her incomes capability was lower than the husband’s, it was not zero.
The husband, however, argued that no alimony ought to have been awarded, however the court docket concluded that this argument was with out advantage, and it awarded the spouse partial legal professional’s charges for the enchantment relating to that difficulty.
In view of those foregoing issues relating to Spouse’s want and our assessment of the file as an entire, we discern no abuse of discretion on the a part of the trial court docket in selecting to award Spouse $4,000.00 monthly in alimony as a substitute of the $5,000.00 monthly she had requested. We’re in settlement with Spouse, nevertheless, that the trial court docket erred in subjecting her alimony funds to an automated discount after fifty-three months. Spouse has argued that there isn’t a proof to assist such a choice, and to be frank, the trial court docket’s motion seems to us to be completely arbitrary.
For these causes, the Court docket of Appeals affirmed and remanded the case for calculation of legal professional’s charges.
No. W2021-01246-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 10, 2023).
See unique opinion for precise language. Authorized citations omitted.
To study extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Course of: How Divorces Work Begin to End.