Unlike property division, alimony concerns “cash flow” from one spouse to the other, mainly for the purpose of reasonably approximating the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. Tennessee does not have an alimony formula, unlike in the case of child support. And unlike child support, alimony is taxable income to the recipient, and a tax deduction for the payer. The question to ask is: does one spouse have the need for alimony and does the other spouse have the ability to pay alimony?
There are factors to be considered when determining alimony: the length of the marriage, whether minor children are still at home, the age and health of the recipient, and the property awarded, among other factors. People are expected to create realistic budgets from which to determine need and ability to pay alimony.