Gonsewski v. Gonsewski

Facts: The parties were married 21 years. Wife was granted a divorce on grounds of Husband’s inappropriate marital conduct. Wife was a college graduate, worked for the State for 16 years, and earned an annual income of $72,000. Husband’s income was $138,000, comprised of a $100,000 salary and a $38,000 bonus. It was not certain whether Husband would receive future bonuses or what they might be. The trial court found Wife was not entitled to alimony.

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and found that Wife was the economically disadvantaged spouse because her earning capacity would not permit her to maintain a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage or to the post-divorce standard of living expected to be available to Husband. The Court found Wife was in need and Husband had the ability to pay alimony in futuro of $1,250 per month until the death of Husband or the remarriage of Wife.

The Court of Appeals also reversed the trial court’s denial of Wife’s request for attorney’s fees, finding that she was entitled to recover her attorney’s fees from Husband for both the trial court proceedings and the appeal. The matter was sent back to the trial court to determine the amount of attorney’s fees Husband is to pay Wife.

UPDATE: The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals. Click here for my blog post on the Tennessee Supreme Court opinion.

Gonsewski v. Gonsewski (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 17, 2010).

Information provided by K.O. Herston, Tennessee Divorce Lawyer.

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K.O. Herston is a family-law attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee whose practice is devoted exclusively to family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and other aspects of family law.

3 thoughts on “Gonsewski v. Gonsewski

  1. Notice Date: 08/25/2010
    Case Style: Johanna L. Gonsewski v. Craig W. Gonsewski
    Case Number: M2009-00894-SC-RI 1-CV
    Action: Date Filed: 08/25/2010 COURT ORDER FILED: Related to Rule Specific Motion or
    Application: Granting TRAP Rule 11 Application ::
    Trial Court: Sumner County Circuit Court Trial Court Number: 30476

    This is to notify you that the Supreme Court granted the Rule 11 application in the above-styled case. Unless delayed by motions requesting extensions of time to file briefs or continuances are granted by the Court, this case
    will be set for argument at the February 2011 term of Court.

    It is Ordered that the application for permission to appeal of Craig W. Gonsewski is Granted. The Clerk is directed to place this matter on the docket for oral argument upon the completion of briefing.

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