Navigating the divorce process in Texas can understandably be both a sweet and a sour situation. On one hand, you might be eager to move on with your life without your spouse. On the other hand, you may not be in a position to support yourself financially.
Fortunately, you might qualify for alimony, or spousal maintenance, from the other party. Here is a glimpse at how the state of Texas handles spousal maintenance and the rights you have in this area following divorce.
What is spousal maintenance?
Spousal maintenance payments are the financial payments that an individual may make to another person after they have gotten divorced. This continuing income stream is designed to flow from the party who earned more money or was the sole breadwinner during the marital union to the person who made less money or earned no money.
The aim of spousal maintenance is to reduce the adverse economic impacts of a marital breakup that one of the spouses may experience. After all, maybe you chose to forego your career so that you could focus on taking care of your children and the household. If you receive spousal maintenance, this may buy you the time you need to get back into the work force or to complete a training program that will enable you to land a job with which you can financially support yourself.
What spousal maintenance amount will you get?
A judge will ultimately decide if you are eligible for spousal maintenance and if so, the amount you should receive. The court will look at several factors as follows:
- If your future ex-spouse can support himself or herself while still making spousal maintenance payments to you
- Both of your financial, emotional and physical conditions
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living you had while married
- The length of time required for you to complete training so that you can financially support yourself
The judge might also determine that you will receive spousal maintenance for a set amount of time. However, if the court does not specify a time period in the divorce decree, you can expect the payments to keep coming until the judge says otherwise. If you get remarried, though, your payments will likely stop.
What if you have trouble getting your ex to make spousal maintenance payments?
If the other party fails to consistently pay you spousal maintenance, you have the right to attempt to force these payments through a contempt proceeding. An attorney in Texas can provide you with the guidance you need to pursue the amount of spousal maintenance you need during your divorce proceeding, or to enforce a spousal maintenance order as necessary following the proceeding.