When people start considering divorce, they often have goals in mind. For some people, such as those who have had their spouses cheat on them, there may be a desire to create as many consequences as possible for that spouse.
Unfortunately, the law in Texas does not allow spousal misconduct to influence the outcome of a divorce unless there is a valid prenuptial agreement that creates specific penalties to which both spouses agree. When some people realize that they won’t receive a larger chunk of the assets, they may start to look at spousal support as another way of punishing their ex or securing a larger portion of the marital estate.
However, Texas has a limited approach to spousal support, which is also known as maintenance or alimony. The vast majority of people facing divorce won’t qualify to receive maintenance payments, and those who do won’t receive it for as long as they might hope.
To receive support, you must show you can’t support yourself
The courts expect you to make every effort to provide for yourself as you start working toward an independent future. For spouses who have not worked outside of the home in some time, it can be difficult to find a good job or command a living wage.
In those circumstances, the courts may order temporary support to allow the spouse with less earning potential a chance to get hands-on work experience or pursue educational opportunities that will make them more employable. Once you have decent earning potential, the support will end. In fact, in many cases, the support will end after a specific number of months, regardless of your personal circumstances.
Only those in extremely difficult situations will qualify for permanent maintenance. A spouse with severe medical conditions that prohibit them from working, or one who has assumed full custody of children with special needs that require a level of care that precludes full-time employment, are some of the only circumstances in which permanent of alimony is available.
Building a case for alimony often requires experience
Convincing the courts that you deserve spousal support during and after your divorce isn’t an easy prospect. Working with an experienced Texas family law attorney may be the best way to build your case and connect with the support you need to get back on your feet after the end of your marriage.
Your attorney will know what kinds of evidence and arguments have proven successful for dependent spouses in the past in Texas. Talking about your situation and your divorce with an attorney can help you strategize for the best outcome. Your lawyer can help you understand the likelihood of alimony or spousal support in your case.