Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) in Cleburne, Texas
Texas does allow spousal maintenance (alimony). The Texas law on spousal maintenance is much more restrictive than in other states. Texas does not treat spousal maintenance as a leveling device. Spousal maintenance in Texas is designed to get a spouse back on his or her feet. Spousal maintenance is also not a forever payment in Texas.
Divorce is never easy and leaving a bad marriage when one party is the primary earner makes it even harder. Many people think they can't get out because they will not be able to make it own their own. This can be a reason some people stay in a bad marriage for longer than they should.
Temporary Spousal Support
Texas courts order temporary alimony all the time during the pendency of the divorce. At a temporary orders hearing the court can order temporary alimony to insure one party is able to survive in the short term. Temporary alimony is dependent on many factors including, the needs of the spouse requesting the support, the ability to pay the support, the expenses of each spouse and the amount of child support being paid. The guideline level of child support is calculated first and then the court considers what additional amount is needed, if any.
Spousal Support Post Divorce
As was mentioned earlier Texas is a very restrictive state when it comes to post divorce spousal support. Alimony is typically for a very short period of time post-divorce. The support will never be for any longer than is needed but can be no longer than the following:
*5 years, if due to family violence conviction and the marriage is under 10 years
*5 years if the marriage is between 10 and 20 years
*7 years if the marriage is between 20-30 years
*10 years if the marriage is over 30 years
*for an incapacitated person with either physical or mental disability it will last as long as the disability
*if married less than 10 years and NO family violence conviction then alimony is not allowed
The court will terminate the support if the person receiving the spousal support gets married or moves in with someone they are engaged in a romantic relationship with.
How is Spousal Support Calculated
Unlike child support, spousal support does not have a guideline amount. The court will take a host of things into account when deciding the amount. There is no formula and the requesting spouse will need to articulate why he or she needs a certain amount. The court will consider other factors that were not considered when deciding on temporary support. The court can and will consider if the requesting party will be getting a portion of a 401(k) or other retirement benefits. The court will also look at other liquid assets that may be able to be sold in order to support the requesting spouse. The court will consider the age of the parties and if the spouse needs school, training or other certifications as well.