The end of your marriage can bring about many questions about your future life. One of the most unsettling for many is how secure their financial situation will be. For many spouses who may not have held employment while they were married due to a variety of circumstances, being divorced will leave them without a sufficient income. While Texas has relatively strict criteria to meet to receive alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, there are a limited number of ways to qualify which will help you meet your financial needs.
Qualifying for Spousal Support in Texas
In Texas, there are three ways that you may receive spousal support after your marriage:
Support was agreed to by your spouse in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
You negotiated for spousal support as part of an uncontested divorce.
Through a court-awarded spousal maintenance agreement.
While the first two ways depend on agreements between you and your spouse, to receive an award through the court, there are certain criteria you must meet. First, you must demonstrate that you will not have sufficient assets after the divorce to meet your basic needs. Additionally, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
Your spouse has a recent history of family violence against you or your children.
You are unable to earn a sufficient income due to a physical or mental disability.
After a marriage lasting at least 10 years, you do not have the occupational or educational skills needed to earn a living.
After the marriage, you will be the custodian of a child who has a physical or mental disability and requires a level of care that would prevent you from earning a sufficient income.
The length and amount of the support payments depend on many factors, including each spouse’s age and health, your financial situation before the divorce, contributions to the marriage, and your likely ability to earn an income based on education and skills. Negative factors could be considered as well, including evidence of adultery, cruelty, or fraud. The most you would receive from your spouse is 20 percent of their gross monthly income, with a maximum of $5,000 per month. While payments involving a disability can last indefinitely, the length of payments is based on the length of the marriage, with a maximum length of 10 years.
Contact a Plano Attorney for Spousal Support
If the end of your marriage is leaving you in an uncertain financial situation, you can trust a Collin County divorce attorney at Law Office of Brian Bagley to assist in your case. We will strongly advocate for you during negotiations or divorce proceedings to make sure that your future is secure. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at (972) 843-7158.