Divorce can involve a lot of emotions and complications, particularly with the involvement of high assets. In the Knoxville area, couples navigating a high-asset divorce must carefully consider various factors related to spousal support.
Unlike other states, Tennessee does not have a strict formula for calculating spousal support, making it necessary for individuals to be well-informed and prepared.
1. Income disparities
One key consideration in high-asset divorces is the income disparity between spouses. The court will assess the financial needs of the lower-earning spouse and the ability of the higher-earning spouse to meet those needs. This analysis involves a detailed examination of each party’s income, including wages, bonuses, investments and any other relevant financial resources.
2. Standard of living
Maintaining a standard of living is often a primary concern in high-asset divorces. For example, Tennessee has about 139,335 millionaire households. After a divorce, neither spouse may be a millionaire, depending on the particulars.
The court aims to ensure that the spouse requesting support can sustain a lifestyle similar to what they experienced during the marriage. Factors such as expensive properties, luxury vehicles and high-end amenities contribute to the determination of an appropriate spousal support amount.
3. Duration of the marriage
Generally, longer marriages may result in more significant spousal support awards. Tennessee courts may consider marriages of 20 years or more as long-term, potentially leading to permanent spousal support.
4. Contributions to career or education
If one spouse supported the other in a job or schooling during the marriage, the court may factor in these contributions. This acknowledges the sacrifices for the benefit of the marriage and seeks to provide financial support to the spouse who may have put their own ambitions on hold.
5. Marital misconduct
While Tennessee is a no-fault divorce state, marital misconduct can still play a role with spousal support. Conduct such as adultery or financial mismanagement may impact the court’s decision, potentially reducing or denying spousal support.
Individuals involved in high-asset divorces in Knoxville must approach spousal support considerations with careful attention to the unique circumstances of their case.