Understanding Spousal Support & Alimony in Texas
You cannot get alimony in the state of Texas, but you can request spousal support. There are cases in which spousal support is awarded temporarily, especially if one spouse has limited or no income. It is at the court’s discretion whether or not spousal support will be awarded and if awarded, may only last up to three years. If you want to receive spousal support, you are going to have to prove that you need it and that your spouse has the resources to pay.
There are some criteria that have to be met in order to qualify for spousal support:
-The marriage lasted for at least 10 years and you cannot provide basic needs for yourself because of disability, sickness or mental health.
-The marriage lasted for at least 10 years and you don’t have the means to meet basic needs because of a lack of earning potential.
-Your spouse was convicted of committing violent acts against you or a member of your family within two years of filing for the divorce.
If you are awarded spousal support, the court may not order maintenance that requires your spouse to pay monthly more than the lesser of $2,500 or 20% of your ex’s average monthly gross income. The only exception is if spousal support was awarded because of a disability or mental illness, which could entitle you to support indefinitely.
It is uncommon to receive a large sum after the divorce is granted. However, the court will consider joint requests, a spouse’s ability to pay spousal support, either spouse’s ability to work, health, education, age and length of the marriage among other criteria, like a spouse’s misconduct during the marriage.
Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario that will give a better picture of asset distribution and spousal support:
Housewife With No Kids At Home
One of the biggest concerns for a housewife during a divorce is being left out in the cold. Just instructing her to go out and find work is not always a possibility. From her perspective, the focus of the divorce proceeding is figuring out how she will be supported. In this scenario, I would look at the monetary cash that is coming in and the assets that have been accumulated. I would also take into consideration if the husband has a business and its value. Then, I would work on getting spousal support, if possible, and distributing the property in such a manner that she walks away holding on to a fair amount of assets.
To learn more about spousal support, you can request our free book on Divorce in Texas.
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