Spousal support, or alimony, is a payment made by one spouse to the other during or after divorce. Its purpose is (usually) to help the lower-earning spouse meet their reasonable expenses and maintain a similar standard of living they were used to during the marriage.
If you are going through a divorce in Texas, you may wonder if you are entitled to receive spousal support. The answer to that depends on various aspects of your situation, as spousal support is not automatic for every divorcing couple in Texas.
You must fulfill certain conditions
If you cannot agree with your spouse on the amount and duration of spousal support and there is no legally binding agreement like a prenup, you can request the court to determine the matter. However, you must meet some eligibility requirements to qualify for alimony in a litigated situation.
First, you must show you cannot afford to support your minimum reasonable needs. Second, one of these conditions must apply, as provided by Texas law on alimony:
- The marriage lasted for ten or more years.
- The paying spouse was convicted of or pleaded guilty in exchange for probation for an act of family violence within the two years preceding the divorce or during the divorce process.
- The spouse seeking alimony is unable to earn sufficient income to meet their reasonable needs due to physical or mental disability or because of their responsibility as the custodian of a child of the marriage with a physical or mental disability and needs exceptional care.
If the court decides that spousal support is appropriate, it will consider various factors to determine the nature, amount, duration and manner of the periodic payments. Seeking legal guidance to navigate this complex aspect of divorce can help you understand your legal rights and achieve a fair, reasonable resolution that will help to safeguard your financial future.