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Do you have the right to seek alimony payments?

When you're married to someone earning a much higher income than you, it's easy to feel like you're dependent on this person to maintain your current status of life. However, Texas family law may disagree.

The law in Texas prevents spouses from becoming financially dependent upon each other. In fact, if you want to leave your marriage, you have every right to leave it, and every right to avoid financial turmoil as a result of your decision.

Alimony exists to support your financial independence

Many high-earning Texas spouses will try to keep all of the marital assets for themselves, but the law will not support a high-earning spouse in this goal.

Let's say you've raised your children since the day they were born, took care of their every need, and maintained your family's household and tended to every other need of your family -- except for earning an income. Meanwhile, your husband has dutifully gone to work for the last 15 years and earned your family a handsome salary. You're a team. Without both, your family wouldn't be as successful and healthy as it is today.

If you're in a situation like this, Texas law will not leave you stuck in a bad marriage due to your inability to earn a living on your own. You will be able to receive alimony payments from your high-earning spouse.

What courts consider in an alimony case

If you qualify for alimony payments, the amount of alimony you can receive -- and the length of time the payments last -- will depend on a variety of factors. Here are some of the most important issues a Texas court will consider in your alimony case:

-- How long your marriage endured;

-- How much time, and how much training or education you'll require to be financially independent;

-- You and your spouse's ages, health conditions, psychological/emotional conditions and financial conditions;

-- The standard of living you and your family maintained during your marriage; and

-- The income of the paying spouse, and his or her financial capacity to pay.

Educate yourself about your right to receive alimony

No spouse should feel guilty about seeking alimony payments during a high-asset divorce. Alimony exists to prevent spouses from being trapped in a toxic, abusive, or unworkable marriage. It is designed to serve as a bridge for those who need to be free of spouses they no longer love.

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