High Caliber Legal Service

2 things you must know about pursuing spousal support

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2022 | Family Law |

If you are ending your marriage and are worried about how you will support yourself during or after the divorce, the prospect of collecting spousal support can be pretty attractive. However, before you make any assumptions, agreements or decisions regarding this type of support, you should know a couple things.

It’s not available in every case

Just because you are splitting does not mean the courts will award spousal maintenance. Even if you earn less than your spouse, support is not guaranteed.

Per Texas spousal maintenance laws, support can be a realistic option for you if:

  • Your ex committed a family violence offense against you or your child within two years before the divorce filing or while the case is pending.
  • Your marriage lasted for at least 10 years, and you lack the financial resources or earning capacity to provide for your needs.
  • Your marriage lasted for at least 10 years, and you or your child (for whom you are the primary caregiver) are disabled.
  • You and your ex reach an agreement together (including an alimony clause in a valid prenuptial agreement)
  • You are a sponsored immigrant, in some cases.

If you, your ex or your marriage fit these criteria, you could have grounds to pursue and receive support after your divorce.

Outside of these situations, maintenance may not be a realistic option. Talking to your attorney about other remedies can be wise. 

Amount and duration vary widely

If you do collect maintenance, the amount and duration of the order will depend on several factors. There is no precise calculation of spousal support, and two people in similar situations can still receive different support orders. 

The factors that can affect how much money you receive and how long an order might last include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each of your gross monthly incomes
  • A recent (within two years of the divorce) occurrence of family violence
  • The amount of time, training and resources it will take for you to earn sufficient income
  • Each person’s health and age

The courts will determine the amount and duration based on factors like these. In general, however, payments typically will not exceed $5,000 or 20% of a paying party’s income. And shorter marriages often result in shorter durations.

Seeking a fair outcome

Financial security after divorce is a stressful issue. Knowing whether spousal maintenance may be an option for you can help you assess your options to protect your future.

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