When a couple divorces, many legal and financial issues must be resolved. One such issue that might require resolution is spousal support. Moreover, certain individuals who may request spousal support wonder if such a benefit could be provided prior to the separation becoming official. If you are looking to receive alimony or spousal support while your divorce is pending, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Texas divorce attorney in order to receive proper legal counsel and a positive outcome.
Spousal Support Overview
In Texas, spousal support (sometimes also referred to as spousal maintenance) may be awarded on a contractual or court-ordered basis.
Typically, Texas courts will only award one spouse to remit support payments to the other under the following circumstances, the spouse seeking the support was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of the other partner, the spouse seeking maintenance lacks the financial capabilities or assets to adequately support their basic needs (and said union lasted for at least 10 years) or the seeking spouse is the legal caretaker for a child with significant documented mental, physical or emotional disabilities.
- Contractual Agreements
Should spouses agree to a support arrangement, the court is likely to approve said agreement after adequate review. Typically said arrangements contain pertinent information such as the amount of support that will be remitted, as well as how often said payments will be made.
Can Support be Granted While Divorce Proceedings Are Ongoing?
A court has the legal authority to grant temporary spousal maintenance before an official divorce decree is enacted. That said, the spouse seeking said support must prove that such payments are financially necessary.
Determining Spousal Support
A court will decide whether or not to mandate one spouse remits maintenance to the other to support the requesting partner’s basic minimal needs after considering several factors including but not always limited to:
- Duration Of Marriage
In Texas, a couple must have been married for at least 10 years for one spouse to request maintenance payments from their soon-to-be former partner.
- The Requesting Spouse’s Financial Capabilities
The court will consider the requesting spouse’s earning capabilities. Said individual is more likely to be granted spousal support if they lack the financial ability to provide for their basic needs or would need time to accumulate the skills to become employed in a job that would pay a wage necessary to meet said requirements.
- Personal Assets
Aside from income capacity, a court might award spousal maintenance of the asking partner demonstrates that they lack ownership of financial assets that would enable said parties to sustain themselves for any significant duration.
- Age And Health
Advanced age or declining health could work to the requesting spouse’s advantage. Either circumstances could exert a significant impact over the requesting spouse’s ability to seek financially viable employment.
- Contributions To The Marriage
The court might also consider the requesting spouse’s contributions to the marriage. For example, if said individual gave up employment opportunities to tend to domestic affairs like child rearing and home care or had foregone employment opportunities to enable their soon-to-be former partner to focus on their career, their chances of being awarded spousal maintenance might increase.
How Much Support Will Be Given?
Should the court opt to award spousal support to the asking spouse, the adjudicating body will ultimately determine the specific monetary amount, in addition to how often said funds will be remitted after considering several factors related to the remitting spouse. Such considerations include said individual’s earning capacity, individually owned assets and contributions to the marriage.
Individuals facing divorce whom are concerned about spousal support are encouraged to contact us and speak with a Texas divorce attorney today. Call our law offices at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.
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