Alimony, or as some call it by the more politically correct term spousal support, in Texas is not a given. There are several types of alimony that may be awarded, and one of them is temporary alimony. It is also known as alimony pendent lite which means “pending suit,” and it is usually awarded while the divorce process is ongoing.
As the term implies, temporary alimony is of limited duration, although the same terms in a temporary alimony award may be used for a longer term after the divorce is final as a rehabilitative or permanent alimony. Temporary alimony is intended to prevent financial hardship for the spouse who has no independent means of support or who may be earning significantly less until such time as the divorce is final. There are no hard and fast rules for the granting of or terms of temporary alimony; it will depend on circumstances presented before the judge. In general, though, spousal support is $2,500 monthly or 20% of the income of the supporting spouse whichever is higher and will not extend beyond 3 years after the divorce has been finalized unless the petitioning spouse is disabled.
Factors that may determine whether temporary alimony will be granted and how much include:
- Financial situation of the petitioning spouse and supporting spouse
- Ability and capability of the petitioning spouse to find gainful employment (includes skills, education, age, physical health, role as caregiver)
- Responsibility of either spouse for the needless loss of community property or incurring of superfluous debt
- Role of the unemployed spouse in the home
- Extent of the efforts of petitioning spouse to find gainful employment or training
- Marital misconduct of the petitioning spouse
- Child custody
The petitioning spouse has to prove that there is a real need and hardship existing as a result of a divorce petition. Because a typical divorce can take as much as two years to finalize, temporary alimony serves a significant purpose.