How Is the Need for Alimony Determined in Texas?
Alimony, which is called spousal maintenance in the State of Texas, does not play a role in every Texas divorce, but when appropriate, it can be an important financial factor. Every family is structured differently, and some involve two working spouses who balance the home and childcare between them. Some families, on the other hand, involve one spouse who supports the family financially while the other spouse keeps the home fires burning. Alimony is about offsetting one spouse’s post-divorce financial need (a spouse whose contributions to the marriage involved taking care of the house and children, for example) with the other spouse’s ability to help, and it is often an incredibly complicated legal matter.
Alimony and Eligibility
If you are seeking alimony, you must be able to demonstrate that you will not only lack sufficient property (upon divorce) to support yourself financially but that you also lack the skills, experience, or education necessary to earn income that is sufficient to provide for your minimum reasonable needs. Additionally, one of the following must apply:
You were married for at least 10 years prior to divorce.
Your spouse was convicted of a family violence charge (or received deferred adjudication for such) during the course of your marriage or while your divorce was pending.
Your inability to earn income that is sufficient to provide for your minimum reasonable needs is due to the fact that you have an incapacitating physical or mental disability.
Your inability to earn income that is sufficient to provide for your minimum reasonable needs is due to your responsibilities caring for a physically or mentally disabled child of your marriage.
The bar for eligibility is fairly exacting.
Alimony Does Not End with Eligibility
Even if you are deemed eligible for alimony, the court will consider a variety of other important factors before actually awarding it. Further, if alimony is awarded, the court will take the same factors into careful consideration when determining the amount and duration of your alimony payments. The factors that guide the court’s decision-making process include:
Your educational background and employment history
Your contributions to the household throughout your marriage
Your efforts to secure employment while your divorce is pending
Any history of infidelity or other forms of marital wrongdoing (in relation to you or your divorcing spouse)
It is important to protect your financial rights throughout the divorce process, and if you are entitled to alimony, it should not be overlooked.
Seek the Legal Counsel of an Experienced Killeen Divorce Lawyer Today
Alimony is never a foregone conclusion, but if you are entitled to alimony, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has the experience and legal insight to skillfully advocate for terms that support you and your children’s financial future. We are on your side, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information about how we can help you today.