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Knoxville Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Alimony > The Purpose of Alimony Is Not to Compensate You for the Pain of Divorce

The Purpose of Alimony Is Not to Compensate You for the Pain of Divorce


Anyone who has been through a divorce can tell you that it was one of the most painful things they have ever experienced.  Having to disentangle yourself from something you thought would be permanent is never easy, even if you and your ex did not part as enemies and do not have minor children to co-parent.  When your spouse leaves you for someone else, the indignation and hurt you feel is like nothing else, especially when your ex tries to present the new partner to your children as a replacement for you.  In personal injury lawsuits, the court can order the defendant who caused you financial harm to pay you non-economic damages for emotional distress in addition to ordering them to compensate you for your financial losses.  Divorce does not work that way, though.  Equitable distribution is based on each party’s financial resources and needs, parenting time is based on the children’s best interests, and child support is based on the children’s financial needs and the parents’ ability to meet them.  If you can persuade the court that your ex broke your heart by leaving you for someone else, it does not mean that the court will award you alimony or additional parenting time as compensation.  To find out what is fair in your property division and co-parenting situation and to exercise your rights to the full extent, contact a Tennessee divorce lawyer.

Anger Does Not Translate into Alimony

Bobby Pack and Rebecca Rothchild married in 2006 and divorced in 2012, at which time their sons were six and four years old, respectively.  Rebecca was a stay-at-home parent for most of the marriage, while Bobby’s workdays started early in the morning, so Rebecca was the primary caregiver for the children for most of the marriage.  A major cause of the divorce was Bobby’s relationship with another woman; Bobby even introduced the children to his new girlfriend before the divorce became final.

While the parties’ divorce was ongoing, Rebecca sometimes failed to abide by the court-ordered parenting schedule and sometimes openly refused to allow Bobby to exercise his parenting time.  As a result, Bobby was not able to spend as much time with the children as he was legally entitled to.  In the final parenting plan, the court named Bobby as the primary residential parent; one of the main factors that influenced the decision was that the primary residential parent should be the one who facilitates the children’s relationship with both parents.

Rebecca filed an appeal, alleging that, under Bobby’s care, the children’s nutrition, health, and school performance suffered and that he let the children play dangerous sports while providing inadequate supervision.  She also asked for alimony.  The court found that Rebecca’s claims about Bobby’s alleged parenting misdeeds were unfounded.  It also declined to award her alimony, since she had not requested it during her testimony or cross-examination of Bobby during the original trial.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

A divorce lawyer can help you get adequate parenting time and exercise the parenting time awarded to you.  Contact Knoxville alimony lawyer Patrick L. Looper for help.


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