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What is Alimony and How Can I Receive It?

 Posted on September 19, 2023 in Divorce

Galveston Alimony LawyerYou might have heard of the word alimony before. Perhaps you have heard the term on television or you are considering a divorce and learning about the process. Yet, you may still be unsure about what the term actually means. In this article, we will address the basic elements of alimony in the state of Texas. If you need answers about alimony that are tailored to your unique situation, contact a Texas family law attorney who can help.

What is the Definition of the Term Alimony?

In the Lone Star State, there is a specific legal term for the word alimony. According to state law, alimony is referred to as "spousal maintenance." As the legal term implies, one partner is required to make payments to the other. Sometimes, one spouse is ordered to pay spousal maintenance while the divorce is ongoing. This is especially common if the other spouse was a stay-at-home parent without access to money. However, usually spousal maintenance is ordered as part of a divorce decree. 

How is Spousal Maintenance Decided?

Spouses are encouraged to come up with an agreement about spousal maintenance on their own. They may need to attend mediation sessions to find an agreement that seems fair to both parties.

Sometimes, spouses cannot work out an agreement about spousal maintenance on their own. When this happens, a judge may need to make the decision for them. Contrary to what you might think, Texas courts do not view gender as a factor in spousal maintenance. Instead, the judge will base her decision on other factors. Here are some factors a court will consider when determining the amount and longevity of spousal maintenance:

  • How long a couple was married (a couple must usually have been married for at least 10 years for one spouse to be awarded maintenance)

  • Whether one spouse gave up career opportunities to raise children 

  • Whether abuse or violence was present in the marriage that prevented one spouse from earning a living or getting an education

  • Whether one spouse is still raising very young children or caring for a disabled child

  • The educational attainment of each spouse

  • The income-earning ability of each spouse 

  • The standard of living in the marriage

  • The financial needs of each spouse

Schedule a Meeting with a Galveston, TX Divorce Attorney

Contact a Galveston County, TX divorce attorney. You can contact us online at Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C. or at 409-392-1511 for a free consultation. By delivering advice that caters to your distinct situation, we can have a substantial impact on the outcome you experience.

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