When the courts make rulings regarding spousal support after a marriage ends, they consider a number of different factors. These factors can affect the amount, duration and periodicity of payments. Understanding how the courts make those decisions can be helpful to individuals who are involved in a contentious divorce.
In Texas, almost any asset that a person acquires during marriage is considered community property. In the event of a divorce, community property is split equally between the two parties. In some cases, separate property that was owned by one spouse prior to marriage may become commingled with community property, making the separate property indistinguishable. Having a prenuptial agreement may be a way to ensure that separate property is protected in a divorce.
While many people think of alimony as any money given from one spouse to the other after a divorce is finalized, there are actually two separate types of spousal support in Texas. The first is called spousal maintenance and may only be collected for up to 10 years. Maintenance payments are made to ensure that a spouse that may not be able to support him or herself immediately following a divorce is able to maintain a minimum lifestyle.
According to a survey conducted by the Securian Financial Group, almost one-third of the divorced respondents did not get a share of their spouse's retirement benefits in their divorce settlement, and they also reported being unaware that they were entitled to a portion. Like the survey participants, people in Texas might be missing out on the opportunity to protect their own retirement by allowing their former spouses to keep such accounts intact after a divorce is finalized.
A judge in Texas federal court has ruled that our state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote in his opinion that 14th Amendment clauses concerning equal protection and due process were violated by the same-sex marriage ban.