If you are facing a divorce, it is only natural to have concerns about your financial future. If, for example, you stayed home raising the children – thus allowing your spouse to develop and grow a financially rewarding career – your own post-divorce financials may appear bleak. In situations such as this, the court takes the financial imbalance into consideration and may order that your spouse pay alimony to help you achieve a more firm financial footing. If you have questions or concerns about alimony, an experienced Belton divorce attorney can help.
The Four Requirements of Alimony
Alimony is highly specific to the situation at hand, which means that there is no guarantee that you will receive alimony upon divorce. In order for the court to order alimony in the State of Texas, one of the following four requirements must apply:
You were married for at least 10 years; you lack sufficient property and assets to cover your minimum needs; and you do not have the education, experience, or skill to obtain employment that would cover those needs.
You were married for at least 10 years; you lack sufficient property and assets to cover your minimum needs; and you have a child at home with special needs that require you to stay home with him or her.
You were married for at least 10 years; you lack sufficient property and assets to cover your minimum needs; and you cannot support yourself financially due to a mental or physical disability that is incapacitating.
Your spouse was convicted of family violence within two years of the date on which you filed for divorce.
Alimony is generally temporary and is intended to act as a bridge toward financial independence for the recipient.
The Factors that Affect the Amount and Duration of Alimony
The court will consider a wide range of relevant factors in determining the amount and duration of alimony, including:
Each spouse’s ability to provide for his or her own reasonable needs
Each spouse’s level of education and employment skills
The length of the marriage
Each spouse’s age, relative health, earning capacity, and employment history
Whether either spouse engaged in wrongdoing regarding community property prior to or during the divorce
Whether either spouse contributed to the other’s education (or anything else that increased his or her earning power)
Either spouse’s contributions as a homemaker
Any marital misconduct on the part of either spouse