Spousal Support & Alimony – Woodlands, TX
In a Texas Family Law divorce case, spousal support may be awarded in two instances: Temporary Spousal Support may be awarded to one spouse while a divorce is pending. After the divorce is completed, one spouse may end up paying Spousal Maintenance to the other.
Temporary Spousal Support is typically awarded after separation, when one spouse earns much more than the other spouse or has more access to community assets. On the other hand, if both spouses are employed and earning approximately the same salary, Temporary Spousal Support is less likely to be awarded.
The amount of Temporary Spousal Support that is awarded by the Court can vary, depending on the facts and circumstances of the family law case. Typically, the Court will attempt to equalize the parties’ incomes so that both parties have sufficient resources to support themselves during the pendency of the divorce. The Court will consider the amount of child support awarded when deciding the amount of the Temporary Spousal Support amount.
Spousal Maintenance in a Texas family law divorce case (referred to as “alimony” in other states) is another matter. This is money awarded (or agreed upon by the parties) to one’s former spouse, and is paid to that spouse after the divorce. The Texas Family code specifies factors that determine whether a spouse is eligible for Spousal Maintenance. Generally, they are as follows:
The obligor has been convicted of domestic violence within two years of filing or during the divorce, or the parties have been married for at least ten years, one spouse does not have enough property (including property awarded in the divorce) to meet their minimum reasonable needs, and that spouse is either disabled, cannot work because they care for a disabled child or cannot earn enough to support themselves.
The former spous
e will need to acquire job skills through education or job training so that he/she can eventually support himself/herself. An exception to this is disability that prevents a former spouse from working. It is important to keep in mind that each case is considered on its own merits.
Spousal Maintenance may be ordered for up to three years, with the exception of a disabled spouse. In this case, payments may be ordered for an indefinite period of time.