After a Texas couple gets divorced, one party might not be able to meet their financial needs, particularly if they were reliant on the other party. The judge might rule that one individual has to pay spousal support for a certain length of time. However, not everyone qualifies for spousal maintenance.
Who qualifies for spousal support?
If you think that you qualify for alimony, you’ll have to petition the court during the divorce process. To qualify, you must not be able to support yourself and also meet one of the following requirements:
- A judge must have convicted your spouse of domestic abuse less than two years ago.
- You must be unable to care for yourself due to mental or physical disabilities.
- You must have a child with mental or physical disabilities under your care.
- You must have been married for at least 10 years.
If you meet any of these requirements, you might qualify for alimony. If you were married 30 years, your spouse might have to pay alimony for up to 10 years. Otherwise, they might have to pay alimony for no less than five years. When the judge orders your former spouse to pay spousal support, they’ll have to pay either 20% of their income or $5,000 a month, whichever amount is smaller.
Generally, alimony has a time limit. However, your former spouse might have to pay indefinitely if you’re disabled or caring for a child with disabilities. A domestic violence conviction could also influence the number of years that your former spouse has to pay spousal support.
Should you seek spousal support?
If you qualify for spousal support, don’t hesitate to petition the court. It’s difficult for people to support themselves independently, especially if they were financially dependent on their spouse. You might have even more expenses now that you’re living alone.