While it is becoming rarer with time, Texas does provide for spousal support after a divorce. This has important ramifications for both parties in the divorce and should be understood before going to court. In this brief guide, we’ll outline some of the most important things you should know.
What Is Spousal Support? Is It the Same as Contractual Alimony?
In Texas, there are two types of payments from one spouse to another over and above child support payments. These are called spousal support and contractual alimony. They are not the same. Contractual alimony is set by the divorcing couple themselves and the judge must sign off on it. Spousal support is set by the judge during the divorce.
Is There a Limit to Spousal Support Payments?
Yes, there is a limit of $5,000 per month or 20% of the paying spouse’s average monthly gross income. However, that does not mean that the judge will award the maximum amount possible. There are numerous other factors at play, including whether or not a spouse is even entitled to spousal support in the first place.
Who Is Eligible for Spousal Support in Texas?
In order to be considered eligible for court-mandated spousal support, a spouse must prove that there will not be enough property after the divorce to meet their minimum reasonable needs, which usually comes down to your monthly expenses. When that has been proven, the spouse will also need to prove one of the following:
- The marriage lasted at least 10 years and during that time the spouse tried to earn an income or build skills necessary to make an income
- The other spouse is guilty of family violence
- The spouse requesting support has a disability that occurred during the marriage
- A child of any age in the marriage has a disability that prevents the spouse from working full-time and earning enough income to be self-sufficient
If you do seek spousal support and you were married for 10 years or longer, you must show the court evidence that you are actively seeking employment while the divorce is pending or you’re improving yourself through education for a job after the divorce.
Note that the other spouse’s situation will also be taken into consideration, including any contributions to childhood education and care, financial resources after the divorce, effects of child support payments on bill paying capabilities, and more.
Struggling with a divorce? Wondering if spousal support is due? We can help. Call The Blacknall Firm today at 214-678-9111.