Spousal support award reversed in Tennessee Supreme Court

When Craig Gonsewski went through a divorce from his wife Johanna after 21 years of marriage, he was ordered to pay lifetime alimony to his ex-spouse. However, the Tennessee Supreme Court has absolved him of that duty because his ex-wife holds a stable job with considerable income, the Chattanoogan reports.

After the divorce, spousal support was denied because both parties were college educated with high-paying jobs, according to the news source, but on an appeal to the Court of Appeals, that decision was reversed and Gonsewski was forced to pay $1,250 per month in alimony until his ex-wife’s death or remarriage.

Then the state Supreme Court stepped in, unanimously voting to eliminate the lifetime alimony award because of Johanna Gonsewski’s stable finances and her significant amount of assets taken during the division of property. The ex-wife argued to the court that she could not maintain her previous standard of living before the divorce, which is a major factor in awarding alimony, but the Supreme Court disagreed.

According to WDEF, the divorce rate in Tennessee is above the national average, at 11.4 percent for men and 11.6 percent for women. The news source reports that spike could be due to the shorter divorce process in the state compared to other areas.