Thinking about alimony during a divorce

Couples in Texas need to discuss many issues when dissolving a marriage, and one matter that might cause arguments is spousal support. One spouse may need or want alimony after a divorce while the other partner might find this unfair. Before letting this cause problems that make a divorce drag on, a couple might like to know more about alimony and when payments are typically made.

Alimony is based on many factors that include the length of the marriage, the state a couple lives in and the income of both people. If one partner does not have a job or has a reason he or she cannot work, alimony may be necessary. One may have to pay spousal support for a longer amount of time if a marriage lasted 10 years or more. A formula could be used to get a number for how much one party has to pay, but a judge might adjust a number based on things like the amount a spouse can pay and the standard of living during the marriage.

One spouse might not be able to work because of reasons like poor health or old age. If a spouse can work, then alimony payments give this party money to live on while building skills and finding a job. Alternative options are sometimes available as one spouse might give the other property like a house or make a one-time payment instead.

If there is no time period given for when spousal support ends, a modification could be necessary when the person receiving payments can support his or herself of if one party can no longer afford payments. Couples might want to avoid the court process if possible as this can make a divorce cost more and take longer, and both parties may need an attorney.