28 Jul 2012

After 12 Years, TN Husband Ordered to Pay $1,200/mo. Alimony in Futuro

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Alimony Tennessee law case summary following 12 years of marriage.  Tennessee divorce and family law from the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

Marian Neamtu v Iveta Neamtu – Tennessee Alimony Case – 12 years of marriage.

In the divorce case of Marian Neamtu and Iveta Neamtu, married in Slovakia in July of 1995, who later moved to Nashville where the husband was employed by Vanderbilt University, the husband appealed the decision of a lower court. He claimed the trial court erred in the award of alimony in futuro to the wife. The wife appealed the amount of the alimony. Their marriage lasted 12 years.

The husband continued to work as a professor at the university throughout their lifetime there. The wife, who has a master’s degree in business administration, was unemployed at the time of the move to Nashville but began working in a women’s clothing store shortly thereafter. She started her own accessory line, which earned a profit in the fourth and fifth year of operation.

In 2002, the wife experienced numerous health problems and from that time until the parties filed for divorce in 2007, she suffered constant pain and was bedridden. She noted she visited 80 medical professionals for her ailments. She testified that though she was making a profit with her business, the pain was so significant she stopped working it. She noted the husband was supportive of her health situation initially but later suggested she return to Slovakia to receive treatment and support from her family. She did.

In January of 2003, the parties separated. She remained in Slovakia for three years. In August of 2005, the husband filed for divorce. In February 2006, the husband petitioned for divorce in Slovakia and dismissed the case in Tennessee. The trial did not occur until late 2007. The wife’s ability to work was an important aspect. Doctors testified on her behalf. The husband brought doctors refuting the testimony.

At the end of the case, the wife was awarded an absolute divorce based on the husband’s inappropriate marital conduct. It found the wife was suffering from a medical condition and was unemployable. The husband was ordered to pay alimony in futuro, though it noted that if the wife was able to support herself in the future, this would constitute a change in circumstances. The court set alimony at $1,200 per month based on the husband’s income of $77,000 per year. As alimony in solido, the court awarded the wife’s attorneys fees, as well as health insurance premiums for 36 months and the wife’s unpaid medical bills be paid by the husband.

In the appeal, the court ruled on alimony where the wife claimed she needed more and the husband argued less. The appeals court noted that the trial court found the wife unable to work and therefore rehabilitative alimony was not possible. The trial court determined that the husband had the ability to pay the support and found nothing on record noting that the trial court abused its discretion on the award of alimony. It affirmed the trial court’s award of alimony.

No. M2008-00160-COA-R3, Filed January 21, 2009.

See original opinion for exact language. Legal citations omitted.

Memphis divorce lawyer, Miles Mason, Sr., JD, CPA practices family law exclusively and is founder of the Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC, which handles Tennessee family law matters including divorce, child support, alimony, and alimony modification. The firm represents clients in Germantown, Collierville, and the surrounding west Tennessee area.

Miles Mason

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Memphis divorce and family lawyer, Miles Mason, Sr. is the founder of Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC. For more information about our professional staff, see our Meet the Team page.

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