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Support for spouses when you’re low income

| Apr 17, 2019 | Firm News |

When you are in a marriage, there are often two people bringing home an income, especially when you’re a low-income family. Both support the home, because without the other, it would be difficult to survive.

In the case of a divorce, this can throw both people into a financial crisis. Surviving on $50,000 a year might be possible, but $25,000 or less could be an impossibility. The lesser earning spouse might want to seek spousal support, but depending on the cost of living and how much is needed by the higher-earning spouse, that might not be possible.

Can you get spousal support in a low-income situation in Texas?

It’s possible, but it may take some unique arrangements. Most people in a low-income situation won’t be able to lose income from a paycheck, or they could suffer as a result. However, you might be able to be rewarded a greater portion of assets in exchange or a higher amount of the sale of a home, for instance.

Here’s an example. If you earn $10,000 a year and your spouse earns $40,000, then there’s a fairly large discrepancy in earnings. Your ex-spouse might be ordered to pay you support if they can afford to do so safely. $200 or $300 a month could possibly be doable, for instance. Some people will have many bills and be unable to provide spousal support. In that case, you could potentially ask for a greater portion of marital assets to help you financially.

However, if you earn $25,000 and your spouse earns $25,000, it’s clear that both of you will be living paycheck to paycheck and may not have much to spare for the sake of spousal support. In that case, the best thing to do may be simply to divide your marital assets as equitably as possible. Depending on factors such as if you have high-value assets or if you have student loans or unavoidable bills, alimony may or may not be a possibility, even at that income level.

There are no two divorces that are alike, especially when they involve low-income situations. It’s a good idea to discuss your details with your attorney and to begin looking at ways to support yourself financially through the sale of assets or by requesting alimony in any amount. With clever negotiation and unique arrangements, it may be possible to leave your divorce in a better financial position than you expected.