What Qualifies A Spouse For Alimony In Texas?
Every divorce is difficult; there’s simply no escaping the stress that comes with the dissolution of a marriage. When your divorce includes the uncertainty of not knowing if you’re going to be able to support yourself financially, the stakes are even higher. Many people wonder whether they’re eligible for alimony in a Texas divorce, and it’s a topic that’s worth examining more closely.
In Texas, alimony is termed spousal maintenance, and it represents additional money—that’s not part of the division of marital property or of child support—that one ex-spouse temporarily pays to the other to help support him or her after the divorce. If you and your divorcing spouse mutually agree on such maintenance and its terms, it’s known as contractual maintenance and there are no eligibility requirements.
The eligibility issue, of course, enters the picture when you and your spouse don’t agree on spousal maintenance, which is where court-ordered spousal maintenance comes in.
Eligibility For Court Ordered Spousal Maintenance
To be eligible for court-ordered spousal maintenance, you must be able to prove that after the divorce and its requisite division of property, you won’t have enough property (or assets) to meet your reasonable minimum needs (which usually is interpreted as meaning your monthly expenses). If you can establish this element of eligibility, you must then also be able to prove at least one of several other elements of eligibility:
- You were married for at least 10 years and you made diligent efforts while the divorce was pending to earn sufficient income or to develop the necessary skills to meet your minimum reasonable needs
- Your ex engaged in domestic violence
- You have an incapacitating disability
- You care for and supervise a child of the marriage (regardless of the child’s age) who has a physical or mental disability that prevents you from being able to earn a sufficient income
If you are deemed eligible for court-ordered spousal maintenance, it’s the judge’s responsibility to decide the amount and duration to order. Typically, the upper limit of this amount is reached by calculating the difference between your monthly expenses and your income. As with so much else with divorce, however, it’s complicated—and involves more than a simple mathematics equation. There are a variety of other factors that the judge must take into consideration in calculating both the amount and duration of your court-ordered spousal maintenance.
If You’re Facing a Divorce, Consult an Experienced Richmond, Texas, Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are facing a Texas divorce, you need an experienced divorce attorney with the skill and knowledge to compassionately guide you through the process. Attorney Frank J. Vendt at The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C., is just such an attorney, and he’s here to help. Mr. Vendt is committed to protecting your rights, advocating for your court-ordered spousal maintenance, and resolving your divorce as favorably as possible. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Vendt today, contact or call us at (832) 276-9474.