Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, provides financial support for a lower income-earning spouse after a divorce. Spousal maintenance is not automatic in Texas and, even if ordered, the length of time it lasts is usually quite limited and dependent on a variety of factors. Continue reading to learn more about spousal maintenance and divorce.
How Courts Awards Spousal Maintenance
During a divorce, a judge may award spousal maintenance if the paying spouse was convicted for family violence within 2 years, prior to the date of the divorce petition filing, or if the marriage lasted for 10 years. If you are seeking spousal maintenance, you must prove that you do not have adequate resources to accommodate your basic needs. Moreover, if you are seeking future support, you will have to prove that obtaining or maintaining gainful employment is impossible due to a mental or physical disability.
If you have a child with a disability that prevents you from working, spousal maintenance may also be ordered under these circumstances.
Below are some additional factors a judge will examine before rendering a decision on spousal maintenance:
- Financial resources of the spouse who is seeking support
- Employment and educational skills of the spouse who is seeking support
- Necessary training or education the supported spouse may need to find work
- The length of the marriage
- The age, earning ability, employment history, and overall wellbeing of the spouse who is seeking support
- If the spouse who is seeking support is making an effort to find work
Additionally, spousal maintenance does not last forever. The time limits are based on the Family Code, which states that a support order will not be effective after 3 years, beginning on the date the divorce decree was signed. However, if the receiving spouse develops a disability, it is possible this time limit may be extended indefinitely.
Schedule a Case Evaluation with an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today!
The divorce process can be difficult and emotional, so it is crucial to hire a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through every step of the process. At Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., our divorce team is backed by nearly 35 years of experience. You can feel confident in our ability to fiercely represent you during this difficult time.
Reach out to our law office today at (281) 612-5443 to schedule a case evaluation with one of our compassionate divorce attorneys to learn more about your legal options and what we can do for you.