If you are currently undergoing a separation from a spouse but the divorce has not been finalized yet, you may qualify for post-separation support.
Many ex-spouses that have already gone through divorce proceedings understand the concept of alimony, but there can be a different process involved during the separation period itself. During this period before the divorce is finalized, one spouse can be ordered by the courts to provide payments to a dependent spouse. This type of agreement can actually protect the assets and credit of both spouses while the divorce is still pending.
It is important to understand the difference between post-separation support and alimony, especially in Texas. There is only one form of court ordered post-divorce financial obligations in Texas, which is referred to as spousal maintenance. This was enacted in the state in 1995, with numerous factors including disabilities, children and reasons for separation playing a part in courts' decisions.
Additionally, the term contractual maintenance also refers to an agreement independent of the courts that is made formally between the separating parties and lawyers. In regards to post-separation but pre-divorce support payments, there is a specific list of qualifications that must be met in order to receive financial assistance:
Disruption of financial security
One spouse having fewer economic resources
Both spouses' means to pay for necessities
Inability to find employment to due physical or mental disabilities
Having a child with physical or mental disabilities
It's also worth noting that the duration of the marriage may also play a part in how long temporary spousal support can be provided, meaning that a longer marriage may result in longer terms of payments. If you are currently going through a separation with a spouse or simply need to consult with someone about a potential divorce, contacting a family lawyer should be your first step.