Many of the clients that come to see us here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, P.C. after having decided to divorce their spouses in San Antonio often believe that an automatic benefit that comes with such a decision is alimony. If you have the same assumption, you should know that alimony is not something you are simply entitled to following your divorce, but rather a benefit that may be given only after the court considers several factors.
Alimony (referred to as “spousal maintenance” in Texas) is only an option if it is determined that upon the dissolution of your marriage, you will lack sufficient property to see to your basic needs. Furthermore, your case must also meet one of the following criteria:
- Your marriage lasted more than 10 years and you now lack the ability to earn sufficient income to support yourself.
- You are unable to provide for your needs due to an incapacitating physical or mental condition that you suffer from.
- You are left to care for a child whose physical or mental disability requires constant attention, thus not allowing you to return to work.
- Your spouse was convicted of domestic violence against either you or your children within two years of the filing of your divorce petition.
Even in the event that your case meets the aforementioned criteria, you must also show the court that you have exercised reasonable diligence in trying to support yourself (or at least acquiring the skills to do so) since your separation. Otherwise it presumes that spousal maintenance is not warranted.
You can learn more about qualifying for benefits such as spousal support by continuing to browse through our site.