Fabio & Merrill

4 critical factors that affect alimony and spousal maintenance

Financial stability can be a top concern for anyone getting divorced in Texas. However, if you were financially dependent on your spouse during your marriage, you can be particularly worried about how you will support yourself after divorce.

In some cases, spouses are eligible to collect alimony or spousal maintenance. To determine if you might be in a position to collect financial support after divorce, you will want to consider the following factors.

  1. Do you have a contract? If you and your ex come to an agreement on support and sign a contract, then you can collect alimony. However, if there is no contract, you will need to seek an order for spousal maintenance from the courts who will consider numerous factors before making a decision.
  2. How long were you married? In Texas, courts award maintenance based on the duration of marriage. If you were married for less than 10 years, you may not receive support unless your ex was convicted of (or received probation for) domestic violence in the two years before your or your ex filed for divorce.
  3. Do you lack sufficient property? In order to receive maintenance, the courts must determine that you lack sufficient property to provide for your reasonable needs. In other words, if you do not have sufficient income or property to support yourself, the courts may award maintenance.
  4. Will you have custody of a child or children with special needs? If you provide substantial care or supervision for a child with disabilities, then you could receive maintenance if such efforts prevent you from working enough to support yourself.

Texas alimony and spousal maintenance laws are far more complicated than people might expect, so it is typically wise to consult an attorney before making any assumptions or agreeing to anything regarding financial support after marriage.

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