Why Do I Have to Pay Alimony and Child Support? One Simple Reason

We are often asked why do I have to pay alimony and why do I have to pay child support in Rutherford County divorce and custody cases. The one simple reason? The law requires it!

Child Support

Our Rutherford County Chancery Court and Circuit Court have a clear position that child support is for the benefit of the child.

The local court or your Rutherford County attorney can utilize the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines and accompanying Tennessee Child Support Worksheet to calculate the potential child support which is owed for the benefit of your child or children.

To calculate child support, you have to know four primary things:

  1. The number of overnight days you spend with your child
  2. The amount that each party pays in work-related childcare
  3. The amount of the health insurance premium you pay, if any, for the minor children.
  4. Any recurring monthly medical expenses for the child(ren).

In certain circumstances, you can receive credit for other minor children that live in your home from other relationships. However, this figure is calculated based on the information listed here and ordered by the Court for the benefit of the child or children– and our courts don’t ignore it very often.

Alimony (Spousal Support)

This issue is less straightforward than child support. For alimony, a judge will look at the years of the marriage, the earning capacity of both parties, and many other factors under the law, and may enter an order setting out spousal support.

Typically, to qualify for an award of spousal support in Rutherford County you need to be in a marriage that lasts longer than most short marriages (which courts typically view as less than five to seven years) and you must be able to clearly establish two things:

  1. That one spouse is in need of alimony.
  2. That the other spouse can afford to pay alimony

If the requesting spouse can get over the hurdles then the Court can award alimony to help the spouse in post-divorce life, either for a short time, a long time, or in one lump sum. The end result depends on the judge’s review of the facts and circumstances of your unique case.

If you or someone you know needs to talk about alimony or child support, feel free to contact our experienced Rutherford County Family Lawyers for a free consultation.

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