Many people avoid getting divorces because they cannot afford to do so. They know that they depend upon the other spouse’s income in order to continue paying the bills. You are not alone in wondering how you will be able to afford everything during and after your divorce. You know you cannot stay married and you know you need financial assistance at least with some of the bills.
Fortunately, Texas does allow for temporary spousal support while your divorce case is pending. During initial consults with clients, the question always arises on income, who is going to stay in the marital residence, and if financial assistance is needed. If it is, then clients will complete a financial information sheet for temporary orders hearing purposes which will be filed. This allows the judge to see your income and expenses, your spouse’s income and expenses, and any expenses associated with the child. It is basically a breakdown of your household monthly income and expenses so that the judge can determine whether or not you truly have a need and if your spouse has enough income to make up for the deficit. In most cases, and especially if the spouse has already been doing so, the court will order the spouse to continue paying the bills that they have already been paying after separation and prior to the court date. For instance, if your spouse has already moved out of the home but they have continued to pay the mortgage after moving out, then we would ask the court to maintain that status quo while the case is pending.
Additionally, if you have a child and you are awarded the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child then the other parent will most likely be paying child support. This is additional assistance for you. If it is only one child, it would be 20% of the other parent’s monthly net resources. The percentage goes up with the number of children.
Finally, if you have been married for 10 years or longer you can also explore the possibilities of spousal maintenance. Meaning, if you know that you would not be able to meet your minimum reasonable needs after the divorce then you and your attorney need to discuss your expenses and what your concern is. The amount of spousal maintenance is the lesser of 20% of the obligor’s monthly gross income OR $5,000.00. The amount of time that you receive support depends upon the length of marriage. The award of spousal maintenance, like all things, is never guaranteed and depends upon a list of factors that the court will consider such as your age, your education, as well as your spouse’s age and education.
Divorces are scary enough without adding in the issues of finances. Guest & Gray offers divorce consultations. Call us to schedule your appointment today.