If you earn less than your divorcing spouse, it’s likely that you’re concerned about how you will be able to maintain the same standard of living post-divorce. Your expenses are still likely to be considerable, especially if you will keep the family home, but your income is undoubtedly going to take a significant cut.
Divorce courts try to operate in such a way so as to minimize any unfairness and inequity during the divorce process. This is essentially why alimony, otherwise known as spousal support, is often awarded to the spouse who earns less. If you are hoping to receive alimony as part of your Texas divorce settlement, it is important that you understand how the law will apply to your situation.
When is alimony awarded?
If the spouses come to an agreement between themselves, alimony can be awarded under any circumstances. However, if the courts are responsible for determining alimony, the petitioning spouse will need to show that without these payments, they will not be able to afford their basic needs.
In addition to this, the petitioning spouse will need to show that they cannot support themselves because they are caring for a child of the marriage who has a disability, they have a physical or mental disability themselves, or the marriage lasted for more than 10 years. If the paying spouse committed family violence in the two years before the divorce, they will also be required to pay alimony.
How much alimony can be awarded?
The alimony awarded monthly cannot exceed 20% of the paying spouse’s average monthly income or not more than $5,000 per month.
How long is alimony paid for?
The length of time in which alimony is paid depends on the length of the marriage. If the marriage was more than 10 years long, alimony will be paid for up to five years. If the marriage lasted between 20 and 30 years, alimony will last up to seven years. Alimony will be paid for up to 10 years if the marriage was more the 30 years long.
If you are going through a divorce in Texas and you are worried that you will not be able to gain the alimony that you believe you deserve, it is important that you take the time to understand the law in full.