If you are going through a divorce, you may have been told by friends and family that there is no chance for alimony according to Texas law. This used to be true. Until fairly recently, alimony was not allowed in Texas. Now, however, divorcing people may fight for several types of spousal support assuming they fit the criteria.
The criteria for each type of spousal support vary and tend to be strict strictly regulated. Consider your circumstances and whether you may be eligible for one of these three forms of support available during and after your divorce.
Temporary Spousal Support
If you have fewer assets or less income than your spouse, they may be required to pay you temporary spousal support while your divorce is still pending. The purpose of this type of support is to help you preserve your way of life during the proceedings. Support is generally awarded monthly or in one lump sum, and the amount is determined by factors including your employment skills and earning ability.
Once your divorce is final, you will have the opportunity to request spousal maintenance. To be granted spousal maintenance you will need to prove that you legitimately need assistance, as well as one of the following:
- Your spouse was convicted of family violence within 2 years of your divorce being filed.
- You were married for at least 10 years and now lack the ability to earn enough income to support yourself.
- You have a disability that bars you from gainful employment.
- You sought gainful employment during your divorce but were never hired.
There is no simple formula which determines how much spousal support your will receive. A judge will render a decision based on your circumstances, income and several other factors.
This type of support is not mandated by a court. Rather, it is an agreement that you and your spouse will make between yourselves. In these types of agreements, the higher earning spouse will agree to make monthly payments to the other until such a time that they are able to fully sustain themselves. Contract alimony is more common in amicable divorces, uncontested divorces and other situations where there is less fighting.
Don’t stay in an unwanted marriage because you’re afraid of losing financial security. These new laws are designed to ensure that you can continue to live your life the way you want to live it. Use them, and get started on your next best future.