Marriage involves a long-term commitment between two people who will pool their resources and abilities to provide for their joint family unit. Whether you have children or not, the two of you will also have to share household maintenance expenses and practical responsibilities.
For some families with children or one spouse with a very demanding career, the logical choice is to have a spouse stay home. The contributions of a stay-at-home spouse can be the financial equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars of work throughout the year. The household will save money by not outsourcing those jobs, but one spouse will have to sacrifice income and future earnings potential to support the household.
If you left your job to raise children or take care of your home, can you ask for alimony in your Texas divorce?
Texas does grant alimony in some cases
A family law judge in Texas has the right to award alimony, which some people refer to as spousal maintenance or spousal support. Typically, when a judge does grant a dependent spouse alimony payments, they will only receive temporary support for the duration of the divorce or a few months following the divorce decree.
In certain scenarios, a spouse who cannot currently support themselves may qualify for several years of payments following the divorce. However, to qualify for long-lasting alimony, you typically need to have stayed married for at least 10 years and need to prove both an inability to truly support yourself and your ex’s ability to make alimony payments.
Most dependent spouses must find a way to support themselves
Maybe you have to reevaluate your lifestyle and make some concessions. Perhaps you need to start looking for a new profession and go back to trade school. It can be difficult to become financially dependent again after sacrificing your career and income for years during a marriage.
However, that is precisely what the typical family law judge in Texas will expect you to do. With very rare exceptions, most divorcing spouses in Texas will need to develop a plan to support themselves financially in the early stages of the divorce because they will not be able to rely on alimony indefinitely.
Alimony is typically a short-term solution to help you re-establish you own household. Property division proceedings and child support can also provide some financial help to a dependent spouse trying to regain their independence during or after a divorce. Learning more about alimony rules and other divorce laws can help you prepare for the end of your Texas marriage.