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Will I get alimony as part of my divorce settlement?

You have a spouse who has done well financially. He or she provided you with a good life. It is a life to which you have become accustomed, and one that you may not be able to provide for yourself. Now that you are filing for divorce, you are wondering if your spouse will have to help you maintain that lifestyle by paying alimony.

The state of Texas does allow divorcing spouses to seek spousal maintenance. This is something a couple can work out on their own and include in their divorce settlement, or it is something that the courts can decide. Not every request for alimony will receive approval.

Eligibility

Typically, alimony is reserved for those individuals who are unable to meet their basic financial needs following divorce. You will need to show that is true in your case. You will also need to provide evidence of one or more of the following conditions:

  • The paying spouse committed acts of family violence during the marriage or during divorce proceedings.
  • The requesting spouse has a physical or mental disability that limits his or her ability to earn sufficient income.
  • The requesting spouse is caring for a child with exceptional physical or mental needs.
  • The marriage lasted 10 years or more.

If you can show that you qualify for alimony and the court agrees, the details of your spousal maintenance order can be set.

How much and for how long?

As alimony amounts are based on the paying spouse's income level, how much you get could be different than what someone else can get. There is not just a standard amount awarded by the state. Typically, the court will award up to $5,000 a month or 20 percent of the payer's gross monthly income. Based on your marital lifestyle, you may be able to request more.

How long you can expect payments to come in depends on the length of your marriage. If your marriage lasting 10 to 20 years, you may receive support for up to five years. If it lasted 20 to 30 years, you may receive support for up to seven years. Finally, if your marriage lasted more than 30 years, you may receive maintenance for up to 10 years. The paying spouse can provide support in monthly installments or in a lump-sum payment.

If you feel you qualify for alimony, you can request it as part of your divorce settlement. There is never any harm in asking for it. If granted, through either negotiations or court approval, it could certainly help you maintain economic stability as you navigate your post-divorce life.

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329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

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