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Eligibility for spousal support in a Texas divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2021 | Family Law |

In the past, it was not at all uncommon for an ex-wife to receive spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony. This was mainly because it was common for women to stay home while their husbands earned a living for the family.

With many more women in the workforce now, spousal support is less common, and it is often the women who pay. Qualifying to receive financial support after a divorce in Texas depends on several general factors, but each situation is different.

Length of marriage

After 10 years of marriage, if the spouse seeking support cannot provide for their reasonable needs, and they are either disabled or caring for a disabled child, the court will probably order alimony. However, if their partner has a record of family violence or domestic abuse, the length of the marriage is not relevant.

Earning ability

In determining whether the spouse seeking alimony has the earning ability to meet their reasonable needs, the court looks at several factors. It will consider each person’s financial standing after the property settlement, their education and employment history, and the length of time necessary to develop the skills needed to provide an income.

End of support

Support payments typically end either when the recipient gets remarried or begins cohabitating with another partner. Otherwise, for a 20 to 29-year marriage, the payments cannot last more than seven years. For a marriage that lasted 30 years or more, the payment limit is 10 years.

While there are guidelines regarding spousal support, each case is unique. Sometimes, divorcing couples agree on financial support before the divorce papers are even drawn up. In any case, a judge will consider all the relevant factors before making a ruling.