Perhaps you’ve decided that divorce is the best option for you and your spouse. It’s a difficult situation, for both you and your family. Good communication goes a long way toward smoothing the process over for everyone involved. This includes talking about alimony — not just alimony once the divorce is final, but possibly while the divorce is ongoing.
The period between filing for divorce and its completion
Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance is typically paid by one spouse to the other for some period of time after the divorce is concluded. However, this type of arrangement is not the only one in which spousal maintenance can be required.
Consider an example where one spouse is the primary breadwinner of a family. They work full-time and their income represents most, if not all, of the family income. Meanwhile, the other spouse is responsible for the care of the family and the home, so that they earn little to no income. The couple decides to divorce and the breadwinner moves out of the house while the divorce process is ongoing.
How will the stay-at-home spouse continue to pay the mortgage and provide for the couple’s children? If the divorce is contested, how will they afford the expenses necessary to see it through? Texas law anticipates this type of scenario and permits spousal maintenance from the time the divorce is filed until its conclusion.
Temporary alimony of this sort is not automatically ordered by the court – it must be requested by the spouse who is financially disadvantaged by the divorce. But if it’s not an issue the couple considers in advance and discusses ahead of time, it can come as an unwelcome surprise which adds acrimony to the relationship and the divorce process.