In the State of Texas, Alimony is called spousal maintenance, and it is intended to balance one ex-spouse’s divorce-based financial downturn with the other ex’s ability to help, but there is a lot more to it than this. (Read more about managing divorce costs) When it comes to alimony in Texas, the court has considerable discretion, and the outcome is sometimes surprising. Knowing the basic factors that go into this consideration and having an experienced Belton divorce attorney on your side, however, can help you move forward with increased confidence. (Read more about Your Divorce Checklist)
Before you can be awarded alimony in Texas, you cannot have the assets to provide for your own reasonable needs post-divorce, and one of the following must also be true:
- You and your soon-to-be ex were married for at least 10 years, and you lack the ability to earn enough to meet your basic needs.
- Your soon-to-be ex was convicted of an act of domestic violence against you or your shared children within two years of your divorce filing.
- Because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability, you are incapable of earning income that is sufficient for you to become self-supporting.
- You are the custodial parent of a child with special needs who – due to a physical or mental disability – prevents you from working and earning an income.
Once a required combination of two listed terms is met, you likely qualify for alimony, and the next step is determining the amount and duration of said alimony. (Is Your Spouse Hiding Assets?)
Factors that Affect the Amount and Duration of Your Alimony
The court will take all of the following factors into its decision regarding the amount and duration of your alimony payments:
- The length of your marriage
- Your ability and your ex’s ability to provide for your own reasonable needs
- The level of education and employment skills that each of you has and the length of time it would take you to obtain the education and/or job training that you need to become financially independent
- Whether either of you contributed to the other’s education or otherwise increased the other’s earning potential during your marriage
- Your age, employment history, earning potential, and physical and mental health
- The ability of the parent who pays child support (as applicable) to meet his or her own needs while making these payments
- Whether either of you wasted, destroyed, hid, or otherwise got rid of any marital property prior to your divorce
- The separate property that each of you brought into the marriage with you
- The contributions you made as a homemaker during your marriage
- Whether either of you engaged in any marital misconduct
- Any history or pattern of family violence perpetrated by your soon-to-be ex
It’s a lot to consider, but an experienced divorce attorney can help you get a better handle on this important matter. (Read more about receiving alimony in Texas)
An Experienced Attorney Is on Your Side
Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Belton, Texas – is an accomplished divorce attorney with the experience, legal skill, and drive to help you obtain alimony that fairly addresses your post-divorce financial needs. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.