There are generally three components in any divorce. The first will be the division of your property and debt. The second will be making arrangements for the custody of children shared between the spouses, and the third involves the allocation of support if it is necessary given the family situation.
Child support is the most common form of support, as it is mandatory under Texas law. However, spousal support, also known as alimony, is also sometimes part of a divorce decree.
If you have been out of the workforce to support your family for years, you may wonder whether you have grounds to seek alimony as part of your Texas divorce. Understanding the requirements for the courts to order alimony can help you determine whether spousal support is worth pursuing in your case.
Texas demands more than just loss of earning potential
In many states, the courts will order alimony to even out the standard of living spouses experienced after divorce, especially when one spouse has supported the family with unpaid labor for many years. Texas does theoretically permit people to seek alimony, but the conditions for it are so restrictive that most people will simply not qualify.
As in other states, the spouse requesting alimony has to show that they can’t currently support themselves. However that alone won’t be enough for them to secure spousal support. They must also demonstrate that they meet certain other qualifications.
One is having a spouse who has committed acts of domestic violence in the last two years prior to the divorce filing or since the filing. The other involved a spouse with a severe physical or mental disability, the full-time custody of a child with a permanent disability. Finally, alimony may be an option in a marriage that has lasted at least a decade.
Any divorce has the potential for complications. Discuss your legal options as soon as possible.