Divorce is a big life change. Obviously, you are no longer married. You and your ex are most likely not living together. Maybe you barely even talk to each other anymore.
Beyond the drastic relationship change is the drastic change of finances. That is where the matter of alimony comes into play. A lesser-earning party in the divorce generally receives spousal support from their ex based on Texas regulations.
Speaking of Texas alimony rules, here are some basics that might be surprising to some:
The length of your marriage usually determines how long alimony payments will be required. The longer the marriage, the longer a lesser-earner would get the support payments. A general rule is that a couple would have to be married for at least 30 years in order for a 10-year alimony requirement to be ordered. Many divorces involve marriages that did not last 30 years, which means the alimony order would probably be shorter than 10 years.
This duration issue is crucial for a lesser-earning party in a divorce to know and prepare for. Alimony they do receive not only is used to help them afford the basics for day-to-day living but also the potential training or education that could lead to self-sustaining employment.
Other factors besides the duration of a marriage will impact alimony agreements in Texas. The demands of child support can reduce the amount of support, for example. Another factor in determining support details can be the conduct of the person who is seeking alimony. Did that party engage in behavior during the marriage that largely contributed to the divorce? If so, alimony orders could reflect that reality.
As you can see, there is more to alimony than the simple idea that, “I’m divorced, and now my ex has to help support me.” The unique factors of your marriage and circumstances leading to your divorce could result in a spousal support order that is different than someone’s down the street.
A local divorce attorney can outline some of the basics as well as the widely unknown issues that will impact your financial life after divorce.