Divorce is a financial strain for all involved, but if you are a stay-at-home parent, the financial uncertainty is that much more terrifying. There is no guarantee that you will receive alimony – or spousal support – and Texas law continues to tighten its constraints. If you walked away from your career to raise your family and are now facing divorce, you need the skilled legal counsel of an experienced Central Texas family law attorney.
Stay-at-Home Parents and the Workforce
If you stayed home to raise your family while your spouse pursued his or her career, you no doubt improved your family’s home life, but you probably did not have the opportunity to grow your own job marketability. Having been out of the workforce puts you at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding a job to support yourself post-divorce. Further, the fact that you took a break from work will likely decrease your earning potential.
Texas Alimony Laws
In a Texas divorce, spousal support is by no means a guarantee, and you will need to file a request to receive it. Spousal support can be awarded temporarily during the pendency of your divorce (temporary spousal support), or it can be awarded as post-divorce payments. Spousal support can be determined via mediation, or it can be awarded by the court.
In order to be awarded alimony, it is necessary to show that you will not have enough property (after the division of marital property) to adequately meet your reasonable needs. In addition, you will need to show that at least one of the following criteria are met:
That your marriage lasted at least ten years and that, while the divorce was pending, you made reasonable efforts to gain job skills or earn an income
That your spouse perpetrated domestic abuse or family violence (Related: The Three Primary Categories of Domestic Violence in Texas)
That you have a serious disability
That one of your children has a serious physical or mental disability that requires your care
If you meet the necessary standard, the court can order spousal support.
Recent tax law changes no longer allow those who pay spousal support to deduct the payments from their taxes. Without this tax incentive, higher-earning spouses are much less motivated to willingly agree to spousal support.
If you are a stay-at-home parent who is facing divorce, it may seem as if the deck is stacked against you, but you and your children’s financial future is far too important to leave to chance. An experienced Central Texas family law attorney will aggressively advocate for your case’s best possible resolution and for the support to which you are entitled.
If You Have Concerns about Spousal Support, Consult with an Experienced Central Texas Family Law Attorney Today
Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas has the skill, experience, and compassion to help protect your best interests throughout your Texas divorce. Mr. Pritchard is here to help, so please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.