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Qualifying conditions for alimony

Texas residents may have many questions following the decision to divorce. Some of these may pertain to property division, while others involve the children: questions of which parent will be awarded primary custody and which parent, if either, will pay child support and what amount. Oftentimes, too, there are questions involving alimony. Alimony, or spousal support, is not always relevant in divorce cases. However, some spouses are entitled to spousal support.

Just who qualifies for alimony? Alimony is awarded to a spouse when he or she cannot meet his or her needs without the other spouse providing assistance. Alimony can be temporary, but the support payments can continue for as long as it takes the spouse to enter back into the work force and earn enough to support themselves. Some spouses may need to finish an education or retrain certain skills, and alimony, in some cases, will be paid during this time. In other situations, the spousal support may be permanent. If the spouse has a permanent disability or is at an age where becoming self-supporting will be impossible, then permanent spousal support may be ordered.

A number of questions can be useful when determining whether or not one qualifies for spousal support. First, asking questions about education and employment can be helpful. A court will likely ask whether the person seeking alimony is employed and what level of education has that person has received. Also, looking at the length of the marriage, as well as the length of any family-related period of unemployment, may prove useful. Looking at health, too, and any conditions which may limit a person's ability, can also help clarify whether a person will be able to convince a judge to award spousal support.

As may be apparent, alimony awards vary greatly depending on each unique situation. Thankfully, attorneys are available to help clarify a person's alimony options no what what their situation is.

Source: FindLaw, "Are You Entitled to Alimony (Spousal Support)?," Accessed on Feb. 1, 2016

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