Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, and one of the most critical aspects to address is spousal support, also known as alimony.
Spousal support is designed to provide financial assistance to a lower-earning spouse after the dissolution of a marriage.
However, obtaining spousal support in Texas is not automatic and requires meeting specific qualifications and demonstrating financial need. At Nilsson Legal Group, we aim to help all of our clients receive the most financial support possible from their divorce. Let’s examine the factors and considerations behind spousal support qualification in the Lone Star State.
Determine the Length of the Marriage
One of the primary considerations for spousal support eligibility in Texas is the duration of the marriage. Generally, a marriage must have lasted for a minimum of ten years to be eligible for spousal support.
In cases where the marriage lasted less than ten years, spousal support is less likely, but not impossible to obtain with the help of an experienced Fort Worth divorce lawyer.
Why does the length of marriage matter when determining spousal support? The length of the marriage is a crucial factor as it demonstrates the level of financial interdependence between the spouses during their time together.
Disparity in Income
The court will carefully assess the income and earning potential of both spouses when determining spousal support eligibility. The key objective is to identify a significant disparity in income between the two parties.
If you are a spouse that wants support, you and your legal team must demonstrate a genuine financial need, proving a lack of sufficient resources to maintain a standard of living comparable to that experienced during marriage.
Additionally, the court will evaluate the supporting spouse’s ability to pay spousal support without experiencing undue financial hardship.
When determining spousal support, payments will either be 20 percent of the payor’s income or $5,000 a month; whichever is the lesser number is the amount paid.
Contribution to the Marriage
The contributions made by both spouses during the marriage will also be considered. These contributions extend beyond financial contributions and may include homemaking, child-rearing, and supporting the other spouse’s education or career development.
The court will recognize and value these non-financial contributions when assessing spousal support eligibility. Therefore, if you already have child custody on the negotiation table, it’s likely that you can find an argument that makes spousal support a possibility.
Physical and Mental Health
The health and well-being of both spouses are important factors in determining spousal support. A spouse with a physical or mental health condition that limits their ability to work or secure adequate employment may have a stronger case for receiving spousal support.
Medical records and expert opinions may be used to substantiate claims regarding health-related limitations.
Texas is a community property state, meaning that property acquired during the marriage is typically divided equally between the spouses during divorce proceedings. However, if a significant portion of the marital estate goes to one spouse due to factors like earning capacity or inheritances, the court may consider this when awarding spousal support.
Unequal property division can create a financial need for the lower-earning spouse, increasing the likelihood of spousal support being granted.
Job Training and Education
The court may also consider the requesting spouse’s ability to become self-supporting in the future. If a spouse needs additional education or job training to secure gainful employment, the court may award temporary spousal support to facilitate this transition.
The objective is to help the recipient spouse become financially independent over time.
Best Move Toward Spousal Support Today
Qualifying for spousal support in Texas requires a careful examination of various factors and considerations.
Remember, every divorce case is unique, and the court’s decisions will be based on the specific circumstances presented. By working with an experienced lawyer from Nilsson Legal Group and presenting a strong case, you can better position yourself for a favorable outcome in the aftermath of your divorce.
Don’t hope the courts fall in your favor, make it happen with Nilsson Legal Group. Schedule your free consultation today.