Like many other states, Texas courts are allowed to award spousal support, which some may refer to as alimony, at the conclusion of a divorce.
As the name suggests, spousal support involves one party being order to pay, either on a regular basis or as a lump sum, money to the other party as a way of ensuring that the person receiving the money is able to land on her feet after a divorce.
Texas is not as liberal as some other states when it comes to awarding spousal support.
Generally speaking, a person can only request spousal support if the marriage has lasted 10 years.
Moreover, the person wanting support must demonstrate that he will not be able to meet reasonable needs without it. He or she must also show that he is disabled or cares for a disabled child. Alternatively, he can show that he would not be able to meet his reasonable needs simply by earing more income by, say, taking a higher paying job.
Assuming a person qualifies for it, courts have considerable discretion as to the amount of spousal support and as to how long the payments will last. The judge will consider a number of factors when making this decision.
The law does put caps on how long spousal support payments can last. For instance, for a marriage that lasted at least 30 years, support payments can run for up to 10 years.
There are other ways to qualify for spousal support. Sometimes, for instance, it may make more sense for a couple just to agree that one person will pay spousal support to her spouse.
A San Antonio resident may also receive support if she is the victim of domestic violence. In some cases, a judge may order support based on her immigration status.