Lifetime Alimony Award Ruled Against By Tennessee Supreme Court


In a unanimous decision, the Tennessee Supreme Court declared lifetime alimony to be inapplicable when the receiving spouse is in good health, receives a good salary, and has received substantial assets in the division of martial property. The highly anticipated decision was the product of a 2009 divorce proceeding between Johanna and Craig Gonsewski. Craig Gonsewski took home an annual salary of $137,000 with an additional $38,000 bonus as a comptroller of a restaurant equipment manufacturer. His wife Johanna, who is employed in the information technology sector of the state, received an annual salary of $72,000. In the Court of Appeals, Craig Gonsewski was ordered to pay $1,250 to his ex-wife each month. In reversing the decision by the Court of Appeals, Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark noted the impossibility for a separated couple to enjoy the same standard of living they enjoyed while married with mutual assets and income. […]

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Divorce More Accessible and Cheaper Under New Tennessee Rule


In an effort to improve access to justice the Tennessee Supreme Court has adopted a new rule that will allow Tennesseans without minor children or dependents, pension plans, and property or businesses to file for divorce without lawyers. The new rule allows those eligible to use “plain-language” forms for “agreed divorces,” those that are uncontested and bear no significant legal issues. To be eligible, couples must not have children who are minors, disabled, or still in high school; the wife must not be pregnant; the couple must not own any property or a business; they must not have pension plans and the decision to end the marriage must be mutual. If the couple fails to meet these requirements then a lawyer must be retained. However, it is suggested that the couple consult a lawyer when preparing the divorce agreement as a judge may disapprove of the agreement if it is […]

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