Session February 22, 2017
from the General Sessions Court for Wilson County No.
2014DC160 John Thomas Gwin, Judge
divorce action, the trial court awarded alimony in
futuro and attorney's fees to Wife; Husband appeals
both awards. Concluding that the court did not make adequate
findings as to whether rehabilitative or transitional alimony
was feasible, we vacate the award of alimony in
futuro and remand for further consideration of the
nature and duration of the alimony award; we affirm the trial
court's award of attorney's fees to Wife; and we
decline to award attorney's fees to either party for the
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the General
Sessions Court Vacated in Part and Affirmed in Part; Case
L. Meadows, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bruce Alan
Melanie R. Bean, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tracy
Richard H. Dinkins, J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which W. Neal McBrayer and Brandon O. Gibson, JJ., joined.
RICHARD H. DINKINS, JUDGE.
an appeal from a final decree of divorce following a 25-year
marriage in which the court awarded alimony in
futuro and attorney's fees to the Wife. Tracy
Hallums ("Wife") and Bruce Hallums
("Husband") were married on October 6, 1990, in
Lebanon, Tennessee. Two children were born to the marriage,
one of whom was a minor at the time of trial. Wife filed for
divorce on October 15, 2014, on the grounds of irreconcilable
differences or, alternatively, inappropriate marital conduct;
Husband answered and filed a counter-complaint for divorce on
the grounds of irreconcilable differences and inappropriate
marital conduct. Mediation was unsuccessful, and the case
proceeded to trial on November 2, 2015. Wife, Husband, and
Husband's paramour testified at trial.
trial court awarded the divorce to Wife on the grounds of
Husband's inappropriate marital conduct and adultery;
named Wife as primary residential parent of the youngest
child, adopted Mother's parenting plan, and set child
support; and classified and divided the marital property and
debts. Pertinent to this appeal, the court awarded Wife
alimony in futuro in the amount of $1, 500.00 per
month and awarded her a judgment in the amount of $13, 949.50
for attorney fees and litigation expenses, awards which
Husband appeals. Both parties seek their fees incurred on
standard of review of an award of alimony we employ was set
forth in Gonsewski v. Gonsewski:
[A] trial court's decision regarding spousal support is
factually driven and involves the careful balancing of many
factors. Kinard v. Kinard, 986 S.W.2d 220, 235
(Tenn. Ct. App. 1998); see also Burlew [v. Burlew],
40 S.W.3d  at 470 [(Tenn. 2001)]; Robertson v.
Robertson, 76 S.W.3d 337, 340-41 (Tenn. 2002). As a
result, "[a]ppellate courts are generally disinclined to
second-guess a trial judge's spousal support
decision." Kinard, 986 S.W.2d at 234. Rather,
"[t]he role of an appellate court in reviewing an award
of spousal support is to determine whether the trial court
applied the correct legal standard and reached a decision
that is not clearly unreasonable." Broadbent v.
Broadbent, 211 S.W.3d 216, 220 (Tenn.2006). Appellate
courts decline to second-guess a trial court's decision
absent an abuse of discretion. Robertson, 76 S.W.3d
at 343. An abuse of discretion occurs when the trial court
causes an injustice by applying an incorrect legal standard,
reaches an illogical result, resolves the case on a clearly
erroneous assessment of the evidence, or relies on reasoning
that causes an injustice. Wright ex rel. Wright v.
Wright, 337 S.W.3d 166, 176 (Tenn. 2011); Henderson
v. SAIA, Inc., 318 S.W.3d 328, 335 (Tenn. 2010).
350 S.W.3d 99, 105 (Tenn. 2011) (footnote omitted).
recognizes four distinct types of spousal support: (1)
alimony in futuro, (2) alimony in solido,
(3) rehabilitative alimony, and (4) transitional alimony.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-5-121(d)(1). There are no hard
and fast rules for spousal support decisions. Anderton v.
Anderton, 988 S.W.2d 675, 682-83 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1998);
Crain v. Crain, 925 S.W.2d 232, 233 (Tenn. Ct. App.
1996). In determining whether to award spousal support, the
trial court is required to consider "all relevant
factors, " including:
(1) The relative earning capacity, obligations, needs, and
financial resources of each party, including income from
pension, profit sharing or retirement plans and all other
(2) The relative education and training of each party, the
ability and opportunity of each party to secure such
education and training, and the necessity of a party to
secure further education and training to improve such