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The ins and outs of spousal support

If you are going through the divorce process, whether in Texas or elsewhere, it is okay to ask questions if you have any. For example, if you think you are eligible to receive spousal support but are unsure, the only way you will know for sure is if you ask your legal counsel.

The topic of alimony can be a tricky one to cover. It is not a benefit that is available in every divorce case. There are very specific eligibility requirements that you must meet in order for the court to award it to you. You may have many questions, including what are the determining factors in an alimony case, how is support paid and for how long will one receive it if awarded?

Determining factors

Before a judge will decide if you qualify to receive spousal support, the court will need to look at various determining factors. These generally include:

  • The length of your marriage
  • Health conditions of both you and your spouse
  • Your earning capacity and the earning capacity of your spouse
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Contributions and sacrifices you made for your spouse's career or education

If you ultimately receive alimony, the above factors will also determine how much you get and for how long.

How is spousal support paid?

Spousal support can either occur in one large lump sum or in installments -- usually monthly. In most cases, support will come in installments, as it is generally easier for the paying spouse. The final support order will provide the details on how payments take place.

Alimony duration

There are two basic types of alimony that may be available to Texas residents. These are temporary and long-term. The duration for which you will receive support will mostly depend on the length of your marriage. There is typically a five-year minimum and a 10-year maximum on alimony payments.

Get help seeking alimony

While it is possible to negotiate spousal support into a divorce agreement through private negotiation or during mediation, in many cases making a formal request in court is necessary. If you believe you are due alimony, an experienced family law attorney can help you take the steps necessary to seek it and have it included as part of your divorce settlement.

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