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Spousal Support - Do I Qualify?

Discussion in 'Alimony & Spousal Support' started by lawstuff, Jan 14, 2015.

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  1. lawstuff

    lawstuff Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Married for 25 years and possibly headed for divorce. Our children are grown and now out of the house. I do not have a job or a high school diploma. Husband pays the household bills. He is also a functioning alcoholic and is verbally and emotionally abusive. Has also been "physical"/broken things and damaged property while in his alcoholic rants. What are my chances for any kind of support and for how long will it last if I get it? Also, is it possible to file reason for divorce as "emotional abuse" or "cruelty" or does Texas only use Irreconcilable Differences? I can prove this in court if need be. There are more details to the story but I'm trying to be as brief as possible but get to the point of my questions. Thanks for any advice. Wanting to be prepared (ahead of time) in case I'm served with divorce papers.
     
  2. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Texas is extremely strict when deciding who can get alimony and for how long.

    The law did change in 2011 (in the recipient's favor), so instead of there being a 3 year cap, there are now 4 tiers :

    (1) 5 years if the parties were married less than 10 years and the maintenance is awarded due to family violence;

    (2) 5 years if the parties were married more than 10 years, but less than 20 years.

    (3) 7 years if the parties were married more than 20 years, but less than 30 years;

    (4) 10 years if the parties were married for more than 30 years.

    Now, this is not a sure thing. Despite the extended duration and amount of alimony, you still have a ways to go.

    I strongly suggest you make a few phone calls to some local attorneys and see what they say.
     
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  3. lawstuff

    lawstuff Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Proserpina, I have heard Texas is not good about awarding spousal support. Wasn't quite sure of what the particulars were. Thank you for your reply and the information.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    As Proserpina so accurately posted, Texas isn't fond of spousal support.
    However, as a community property state, either spouse can petition the court to use marital funds (which is the fortune amassed during the 25 odd years you've been married) to pay for their divorce lawyer.
    To further understand the process, visit three or four local divorce lawyers.
    Its easy to get HIM to pay the divorce lawyer's fees, and the lawyer can motion the court to award you TEMPORARY spousal support while the divorce wiggles, squiggles, and slithers its way through your District Court.
    Don't worry about HOW, that's why smart litigants retain GOOD lawyers!
     
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  5. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    You're very welcome!

    If you had filed in say, 2010, it would have been even more restrictive. 3 years max, and only up to a certain percentage of the obligor's income.

    As of 2011 the maximum income has doubled (!).
     
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  6. lawstuff

    lawstuff Law Topic Starter New Member

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    More excellent information! My sincere thanks, army judge. I do realize it's very important in this situation to have a good lawyer.
     
  7. lawstuff

    lawstuff Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Good to know, Proserpina and I thank you again for your help!
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You're welcome, ma'am. I hope things work out well for you.
     
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