During a divorce in Texas, your spouse may ask that you make monthly spousal support payments to them after your divorce. There are two terms for this and each has a very important meaning.
The first type of spousal support is called spousal maintenance. If at the time of the divorce, one spouse is unable to meet his or her minimum reasonable needs, that spouse can ask the court to awards spousal support she or he is unable to earn sufficient income to meet their minimum reasonable needs AND one of the following circumstances apply:
- The person seeking support has a disability;
- The person seeking support is caring for a child of the marriage and that child has a disability; and
- The parties were married ten years or more.
Before a court will grant an award of spousal support, the spouse seeking support must first prove she or he is eligible to receive it. The burden of proof rests of the requesting spouse who must prove that she or he cannot meet their minimum reasonable needs with their income or with the property that would be awarded to them. Based on which circumstance applies, the court can be limited in the duration and amount of spousal support it can award.
The second type of spousal support is alimony, which is actually a contractual obligation between you and your spouse. A court cannot order alimony between the parties, but parties can sometimes find alimony to be a helpful method to settle cases. An attorney can help negotiate a settlement for you to help protect you and your future.
It is crucial for you to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to guide you through this process. We are here to help—call Bustos Family Law today to schedule an initial consultation.