If you are facing a divorce in Texas, alimony (or spousal support) is by no means a given, but there are situations in which the court deems alimony appropriate. A wide range of elements are factored into this consideration. When alimony does come into play, there are also considerations regarding duration and amount. Understanding the basics as they relate to alimony can help.
Your Standard of Living as a Married Couple
When a judge considers the issue of alimony, he or she carefully considers the standard of living that you and your divorcing spouse enjoyed as a married couple. From here, the judge will consider whether you (as the spouse who may be eligible for alimony) would be able to maintain a similar standard of living on your own. If not, alimony may be deemed appropriate in your case. From here, the judge’s basic concern is your financial need and your divorcing spouse’s ability to pay.
If you can show that you have made a good faith effort to make a living that would allow you to preserve your standard of living and remain financially independent, the court will likely take your request for alimony into careful consideration. The factors that are most likely to affect the judge’s determination regarding your alimony include:
The duration of your marriage (the longer you were married, the more likely that alimony will be granted)
You and your spouse’s ability to financially provide for yourselves (individually)
You and your spouse’s level of education and employment skills
The time it would take for you to obtain a level of education or training that would allow you to achieve financial independence
Any contributions you made during the course of your marriage related to taking care of your home and children
You and your spouse’s separate ages, health histories (mental and physical), earning capacities, and any other pertinent issues (Divorce and Your Spouse’s Mental Health Concerns)
The ability of the parent who is paying child support to meet his or her own financial needs
Whether either of you concealed, wasted, destroyed, hid, or otherwise disposed of any marital property (property that you acquired together as a married couple and that will be divided in a manner that is deemed just and right – or fair – in your divorce)
Any separate property that either of you owns
Any marital misconduct, such as adultery and/or cruelty, committed by either of you
Any history of domestic violence
It is a lot to consider, but these factors will guide the court's alimony decisions in your case, along with any others that the judge deems relevant.
If You Have Alimony Concerns, an Experienced Killeen Divorce Attorney Can Help
If you are facing divorce, alimony may be a serious concern for you, and it is important to get it right. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable divorce attorney who is committed to skillfully advocating for an alimony determination that supports your rights. We care about your case, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.