Originally published by On behalf of Laura Dale.
Very few people come out of a divorce without some financial impact. Any time the same income must stretch over two households instead of one, both parties will experience some adjustments to their finances.
What the courts want to make sure of is that one of you doesn’t experience a significant drop in income while the other party receives an unfair financial advantage. Under these circumstances, spousal support may be appropriate.
How do the courts come up with the amount needed?
Of course, the first hurdle for anyone requesting spousal support is to prove a need exists. After you show that you do not earn enough to support yourself without help, the court will then assess how much you need in order to make up for the difference between what you bring in and what you need for support. Below are generalities regarding what the law says about amount and how long you will receive spousal support:
- You could receive either up to 20% of your former spouse’s gross income or $5,000, whichever is less.
- If you or one of your children who resides primarily with you has a disability, you could receive spousal support indefinitely since your need may not end.
- If you were married for at least 30 years, you could receive alimony for up to 10 years.
- If you were married between 20 and 30 years, your alimony will more than likely end after a maximum of seven years.
- If your marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years, you may receive spousal support for up to five years.
- If your spouse was abusive and you were married less than 10 years, you could receive alimony for no more than five years.
Within the confines of these limits, you and your future former spouse may not agree on duration and amount. If that happens, you will need to present evidence to the court to support your position, whether you are the one needing spousal support or the one who may end up paying it.
You don’t have to go it alone
Nothing less than your financial future is at stake regardless of which side of the issue you are on, so it would be wise to enlist some experienced legal assistance for help. An attorney knowledgeable in Texas law will provide you with an understanding of your rights and an explanation of what you face, along with your legal options.