Texas couples may find their union dissolving, leading to legal questions about forthcoming divorce proceedings. Many concerns may center around spousal support, also known as alimony. One spouse may wonder if he or she will face requirements to pay a partner excessive amounts. The other spouse could worry about an award being enough to cover living expenses. Both may wonder if awards occur at all.
A mutual agreement of spousal support
During divorce settlement negotiations, both parties could agree to “spousal maintenance,” the legal term for alimony in Texas. The agreement may occur without much negotiation or disagreement, or the two parties may be somewhat apart on monetary amounts. A settlement worked out by the attorneys could lead to an award that both parties find acceptable. Perhaps entering into meditation may help the process.
Ultimately, settling on a spousal maintenance amount could speed things up and make the divorce less costly. Regardless, the two spouses may not be able to agree, moving things in the direction of a court’s decision on the matter.
Demands for alimony and statutory considerations
When one party refuses to pay spousal maintenance, the other spouse may petition for it. In Texas, a spouse petitioning for alimony must meet the statutory eligibility to receive maintenance payments. An abused spouse could be eligible, depending on the court actions against the alleged abuser during a specified period. A spouse unable to pay for reasonable expenses might also qualify, but statutory requirements apply in such instances, as well.
Marriages that last a minimum of 10 years may qualify. Also, a spouse’s or dependent child’s disability might support a claim for maintenance. Questions about the legitimacy of a disability claim may arise in some cases. Attorneys could argue over the evidence supporting the disability in court and whether a sought-after amount is reasonable.
Spouses seeking a divorce and maintenance payments may not be familiar with how Texas statutes work. A divorce attorney could explain how claims for alimony are dealt with. The attorney may then take steps to represent a client in negotiations.