This 7 letter word paralyses men with fear. How much will I have to pay? For how long? It also paralyses women. Can I receive it? How much can I receive? How long will it last? I understand why this is such an emotional issue. However, emotions aside, it really comes down to numbers. Attorneys tell me that TN divorce laws discuss 16 factors that are considered for alimony. However, need and ability to pay are the 2 factors that get the most attention. As the wife and husband, your job is to prove what you need and what you are able to pay. You'll need to construct a comprehensive list of living expenses to verify your need and ability to pay. Your expenses should include about 145 items including household, transportation, medical, personal and children's expenses. If your expenses don't have this many items, you have probably forgotten some expenses. This may result in you agreeing to an alimony amount you cannot afford or, agreeing to an alimony amount that is too little. Then what will you do? How will you pay your bills? If you are in the midst of a divorce, your monthly expenses need to be accurate if you hope to get a financially smart divorce.