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Is there any way to improve the chances of collecting alimony?

In a blog post we wrote last year, we discussed how and when alimony -- or spousal support -- is often awarded in Tennessee. In that post we noted that alimony is not guaranteed.

In order to make a determination regarding alimony, family courts will take a number of factors into consideration like how long a couple was married, what their lifestyle was during the marriage and the individual financial circumstances of each person. This information can be fairly straightforward, but there are ways to put yourself in a better position to receive alimony.

To begin with, it will be important that you are prepared to discuss your contributions to the marriage, even if they are not financial. Tennessee alimony laws state that contributions to the marriage by homemakers will be considered equally as important as economic contributions.

You should also understand that there are different types of alimony that may be awarded. There is transitional and rehabilitative alimony, alimony in futuro and alimony in solido. Depending on the class of alimony, payments may be pay at once or periodically for a short amount of time or indefinitely. Knowing what type of alimony you are seeking can help you prepare better for your case.

You can also make alimony decisions outside of court. For example, making a plan for alimony and documenting it in an enforceable prenuptial agreement can be a very effective way to protect your financial stability in the event of divorce. You can also work toward a satisfactory settlement by going through mediation, though the courts can adjust an order for alimony if necessary.

Considering all the factors that can affect alimony payments, it can be crucial to have the help of an attorney in the event that you have questions or concerns about spousal support.