Divorce will bring financial changes to both parties, but the economic impacts can be especially significant for the lesser-earning spouse. Typically, the lesser-earning or financially dependent spouse may be eligible to receive financial support from the other spouse. In Texas, this type of financial help is called spousal support. These payments are intended to offset the economic imbalance often brought about by the end of a marriage.
Spousal support may be ordered by the court, but it is also possible for a couple to negotiate a reasonable payment amount on their own. In some cases, the terms of a prenuptial agreement may outline how much support a spouse may receive for a certain amount of time. When a court decides, the individual details of the situation will be factored into the decision of how much payments should be and their duration.
These payments, which are by no means automatic, may be permanent in situations where the couple was married for a significant amount of time. A court will look at how long the marriage lasted, whether one spouse gave up a career to stay home with kids and the financial capabilities of each spouse. It is possible a court will only mandate payments for a length of time sufficient for the recipient to become financially independent.
A Texas spouse who will need financial assistance after a divorce may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney regarding his or her options. It is within the rights of a spouse to fight for the full amount of support to which he or she may be entitled. It may be helpful to seek an assessment of the individual circumstances in order to understand what legal options are available.