Getting divorced can be a complicated process, especially if you have been married for a long time and have accumulated both children and property. Spousal support can be a particularly contentious issue. If you and your spouse – or only one of you – has come to the conclusion that you are no longer compatible and a divorce is inevitable, arm yourself with the facts before you try to reach a settlement agreement.
Is alimony an issue in every divorce?
As you begin to work out the details of who gets the house, the car, the dog and the retirement account, the issue of spousal support, i.e. alimony, will eventually come up. Not every divorce, however, results in one spouse paying a monthly alimony payment to the other.
When deciding on whether to award spousal support, Texas law requires the court to consider certain factors, including:
- Age of the parties
- Education and employability of the parties
- Value of each spouse’s separate estate
- Monthly reasonable and necessary expenses of the spouse requesting spousal maintenance
- Marital misconduct which contributed to the breakdown of the marriage
- Family violence
How is spousal support calculated and how long does it last?
If the judge decides it is appropriate for one spouse to pay spousal support to the other, the amount will be the lesser of $5000 or 20% of the paying spouse’s monthly gross income.
How long spousal support is paid is determined by how long the couple was married. If they were married 10-20 years support generally continues for 5 years. For marriages 20-30 years long, support continues for 7 years. If the marriage lasted more than 30 years, support continues for 10 years.
Regardless of the length of the marriage, spousal support terminates upon the remarriage of the receiving spouse. In addition, if the parties’ circumstances change, either can petition the court to modify alimony.
Call today to schedule an appoint to discuss your case
If a divorce is on the horizon, consult with an experienced divorce attorney to find out if alimony may be a possibility in your case. To schedule a consultation with a College Station, Texas divorce attorney, contact Peterson Law Group at (979) 703-7014 or request a meeting using our online contact form.