Getting divorced and expecting that alimony check to last forever? Not so quick. Although alimony payments immediately end after a spouse gets re-married without further court order, alimony also normally does not last the rest of the recipient’s life unless some very specific circumstances exist. The law can be very complicated, which is why it is so important to contact an Austin family attorney to discuss your case.
Chapter 8 of the Texas family code dictates the conditions when a spouse is eligible for alimony, the factors determining the amount and duration of the support, and when it can be modified or terminated. The longer the marriage, the longer the receiving spouse normally receives alimony. However, the marriage must have lasted at least ten years to be eligible, and there are built in time limits.
Texas courts will only continue alimony for the shortest amount of time that allows the spouse to become financially self-sufficient. Many equitable factors will be considered. The judge expects the spouse to prove that they are making a diligent effort to better their financial circumstances through education, job training, and aggressively searching for employment. However, alimony may be needed by one of the spouses for an extended or permanent period of time due to the following circumstances:
• The spouse has a physical or mental disability and is unable support his or herself.
• The spouse is caring for a minor child that has a physical or mental disability and is unable to work.
The trend in many states is to award alimony less often, or for a shorter period of time. When both spouses are employed and the salaries are somewhat similar, alimony probably won’t be awarded at all. Many states do not require a ten year or longer marriage for an award, but still might not award alimony.
There are no guarantees. To make sure you get what you deserve, you need an experienced Austin family attorney. Please call the divorce experts at the Jackson Law Firm now for a consultation.