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How alimony can get complicated

Many Texas residents have experienced some of the challenges that come with divorce. Alimony adds another layer of complication. There is a lot of confusion about what alimony is, who is eligible to receive it and who may be required to pay it. A clearer understanding of the different kinds of alimony can make the situation easier to understand.

By basic definition, alimony is a form of spousal support. It may be granted when a legally married couple separates or gets a divorce. The idea is to help the partner who earns less money keep the same standard of living they had before they split from the higher-earning spouse.

When determining if a spouse will receive alimony, judges may consider the length of the relationship and whether or not a spouse has the ability to make payments. These factors are compared to the earning ability of the spouse who might receive alimony. The most common type of alimony is called rehabilitative alimony. However, there are other types of support a spouse might receive.

In a circumstance where there is a long-term marriage and both spouses earned comparable incomes and have comparable retirement plans, there may be no spousal support. Conversely, if there was a long-term marriage and one of the two spouses had no marketable abilities and no pension or retirement plan of their own, the higher-earning spouse may be required to pay spousal support.

Spousal support can be rehabilitative, temporary, permanent, a reimbursement or given as a lump sum alimony. A family law attorney could work with their client and help them negotiate an alimony arrangement that works best for everyone involved. Legal counsel could educate the client on alimony laws and look out for their best interests during the divorce process.

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