September 26, 2023

Tennessee case abstract on alimony in divorce after over 30 years of marriage.

Teresa Arlene Simmons Perkins v. Dennis Andrew Perkins

Colonel’s Spouse Awarded Alimony in Futuro after 30+ Years

The husband and spouse on this Dyer County, Tennessee, case had been married in 1987.  Each events had a university 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 instances.  Through 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 dad or mum.

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 per 30 days in navy pension, and $1500 per 30 days in navy incapacity because of a damaged hip from a parachute soar.

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 per 30 days for 53 months, after which the quantity was diminished to $750 per 30 days.  The case was then appealed to the Tennessee Court docket of Appeals.

The appeals courtroom first seemed on the division of the marital property.  The spouse argued that although 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 had been assigned to her, however the courtroom had discovered that almost all of those money owed had 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 courtroom had acted inside its discretion.  It famous, as had the decrease courtroom, that the project of  money owed to her was attributable to her incurring that debt after separation.  It cited a 2016 case approving the same share.

The appeals courtroom then turned to the alimony award.  The spouse argued that $5000 per 30 days would have been extra applicable within the circumstances.  However the appeals courtroom agreed with the decrease courtroom that her want was not as nice as claimed.  It famous that her want to dwell in a selected 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, alternatively, argued that no alimony ought to have been awarded, however the courtroom concluded that this argument was with out advantage, and it awarded the spouse partial legal professional’s charges for the enchantment relating to that situation.

In view of those foregoing issues relating to Spouse’s want and our assessment of the file as a complete, we discern no abuse of discretion on the a part of the trial courtroom in selecting to award Spouse $4,000.00 per 30 days in alimony as an alternative of the $5,000.00 per 30 days she had requested. We’re in settlement with Spouse, nevertheless, that the trial courtroom erred in subjecting her alimony funds to an computerized discount after fifty-three months. Spouse has argued that there isn’t a proof to help such a call, and to be frank, the trial courtroom’s motion seems to us to be fully 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 be taught extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Course of: How Divorces Work Begin to End.