Texas parents usually understand that child support is essential for their child's well-being. Less clear, however, is the importance of alimony. Many people are understandably uncomfortable with the idea of paying their ex after a divorce, but doing so is often necessary.
Couples who were married for at least 10 years and earned significantly different incomes will probably see alimony come up in their divorce. This is true even if one person voluntarily quit his or her job or accepted a less-demanding position in order to be the primary caregiver for children. Having children is not a necessary prerequisite for alimony payments, though. A partner who simply did not work or who did not earn as much as one's spouse can still receive support after divorce.
In some instances, a judge might order one person to cover job retraining costs for the other. This usually comes into play when one spouse was out of the work force for a period of time and no longer has the necessary competitive skills to re-enter. Judges may order this type of alimony even in marriages that only lasted a few years.
Not all marriages that end in divorce will lead to alimony. Couples who were married briefly or earned similar incomes should typically not expect to pay or receive spousal support. However, as with all family law issues in Texas, each person's individual circumstances can lead to different outcomes. This is why many people choose to work with an experienced attorney who can assert their rights during divorce proceedings.