The end of a marriage is never an easy event in one’s life and often finances become a main point of contention not only during the divorce but afterward as well. Particularly in the scenario, where one spouse earns a significantly larger income than the other spouse, alimony may be a vital aspect to one’s post-divorce life. Alimony, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, refers to the financial maintenance awarded during the divorce to one ex-spouse from the other ex-spouse’s future income. If you or anyone you know faces the complex issues of alimony in the State of Texas, contact the divorce lawyers at our law firm to guide you through this legal process and explore the best financial options for your case.
All divorces do not qualify for alimony (spousal support/spousal maintenance). The facts of your divorce must fit into the criteria established by Texas law to receive alimony. There are several circumstances that warrant one spouse being financially responsible for the other spouse after their divorce. One example of when alimony is appropriate occurs when the spouse seeking support lacks sufficient property to reasonably care for their minimum needs after the divorce and the spouse from whom support is requested was convicted of or received a deferred adjudication for family violence within two years before the divorce. Another circumstance appropriate for alimony would be if the spouse seeking spousal support has a mental or physical incapacity preventing her or him from earning a sufficient income. Additionally, if you have been married for ten or more years with or without a child, and lack the ability to earn sufficient income, a Texas court may award you spousal support from the income of the other spouse.
There are a variety of factors a Texas court will consider in determining the nature, amount and duration of your spousal support. A court will first look at each spouse’s ability to live independently in light of the divorce. Secondly, the court may look at each spouse’s education and employment background and assess how realistic it would be for either spouse to independently support themselves or how long it would take to gain such financial independence. A court will also consider the length of your marriage, as well as the age and any emotional or physical conditions of the spouse seeking alimony.
In addition to the backgrounds of each spouse, a Texas court will take into consideration if children are involved and any particular needs of those children. A court may also analyze any irregular financial habits of either spouse such as abnormal spending or destruction of joint property. The contribution each spouse made to the training and education of the other spouse will also be considered (for example, if one spouse pursued education or training while the other spouse supported their endeavors). Additionally, the property either spouse brought into the marriage and the contributions of one spouse as a homemaker will be viewed as important factors. Lastly but often essential to your case, a judge will consider a request for alimony in light of any marital misconduct, including domestic violence, cruelty or adultery, that contributed to the end of the marriage.
Alimony is not awarded in every divorce and understanding whether your divorce qualifies for such financial maintenance is a legal matter that may be up for dispute. If you or anyone you know is dealing with the complex issues that surround divorce and alimony, contact the lawyers at the Law Office of Lauren Cain, call 214-326-4664, to ensure your financial and property rights are properly defended.