Along with child support and custody, the financial aspects of a divorce can be a source of contention. Spousal support, or alimony, is designed to give economic aid to one spouse who may not have the financial means after divorce. In Texas, there are required qualifications to receive alimony in the state. If you want to know what you could receive or have to pay for spousal support, here is the criteria determined by the courts in the Lone Star State.
The Duration of Marriage
The marriage’s length is one of the primary factors for alimony awards. Often, a longer marriage has a higher likelihood of one spouse receiving support. Most of the time, Texas courts will grant alimony if the union has lasted for 10 years or more. However, these are not strict rules, and other factors could influence the court’s decision.
Earning Capacity Disparity
If one spouse earns less than the other, that is a disparity in earning capacity. The courts consider whether the individual has limited educational or career advancement opportunities. Those factors can help the court decide in the requesting spouse’s favor.
Ability to Pay
Texas courts will also examine the paying spouse’s ability to meet these financial obligations, including alimony payments. If the spouse’s income can support both parties, then the courts may award alimony to the other spouse.
Texas is a no-fault divorce state. With that, any allegations of spousal misconduct are not considered in divorce proceedings. However, if one spouse can show that the other spouse’s
infidelity or abuse impacted their financial well-being, it may be a factor in determining support.
Contributions to the Marriage
Taking care of the home, raising children, and supporting the other spouse’s career are some contributions the other person can make. Texas courts recognize these non-monetary contributions to help determine whether that person is eligible for alimony.
If children are involved in the divorce, child custody and support arrangements can affect alimony decisions. The custodial parent may be awarded support to make sure the children’s financial needs are met.
Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements can affect these decisions. If there is a valid agreement outlining the terms of alimony, the court will generally uphold it. However, it must meet legal requirements in the state, such as the arrangement was not made under duress by either party.
How Is Alimony Calculated?
Texas law does not have a specific formula for calculating alimony. Each case is evaluated individually. The courts will consider various factors to render a decision. Alimony is not always permanent. Many times, these agreements are rehabilitative to help the other spouse become self-sufficient, or they are granted on a temporary basis.
Learn More About Your Alimony Options
Qualifying for alimony in Texas involves an assessment of various factors. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you are worried about paying alimony or need assistance to receive it, make sure to have an experienced family law attorney to help with your case.
Divorce can be a financial burden. You need an attorney to help you receive a fair and just resolution in your alimony case. When you need assistance with these legal issues, contact the team at the Law Office of J. Kevin Clark P.C. Call (817) 241-3328 to schedule a consultation.