If your spouse makes more money than you or if you gave up a career to support your family at home, you may wonder if you will receive alimony payments after your divorce. Sometimes called spousal support or maintenance, these payments ensure that you have financial compensation to meet your needs as you transition into your new life.
If you are divorcing in Texas, you may need to manage your expectations regarding alimony. Texas only rewards spousal support under very limited circumstances.
Who is eligible?
To receive maintenance payments, you must meet specific criteria. In addition to lacking the means to provide for your basic needs, one of the following conditions must also apply:
- The marriage has lasted at least 10 years
- A child of your marriage has a disability that requires your care
- You are unable to provide for yourself due to a physical or mental condition
- Your spouse committed an act of family violence within the two years prior to filing for divorce
If you do not meet one of these requirements, you should not expect to receive alimony.
How is the amount determined?
If you are eligible, courts will look at multiple factors to determine the amount of financial maintenance you receive. Key considerations include individual income, education level, work skills, homemaker contributions and marital misconduct.
The length of the marriage will determine the duration of the payments. For example, for a marriage lasting between 20 and 30 years, spousal support can continue for up to seven years.
Alimony laws are complex. If you are unsure if you are eligible, you should seek more information about the applicable conditions.