Is alimony necessary?

Although alimony is an imperfect system in Texas, it helps divorced individuals support their former spouses when they would have a hard time supporting themselves. Over time, it has undergone an array of improvements and revisions made by the family justice system and will likely continue to evolve to better meet individual needs.

In the past, many people believed that a divorced man would support his former spouse by paying alimony. Additionally, he was to pay child support if the children were involved. Alimony comes from a Greek word, alimonia, meaning sustenance or nourishment. Alimony was created to help women because a husband was the owner of all marital property, and the wife depended on him for her sustenance. Thus, the English Ecclesiastical courts always ruled that the husband was responsible for providing for his family after divorce. Otherwise, the former spouse and children would become a burden to other people.

Currently, all marital property is equally divided in divorce. There is often a feeling that a man does not owe this obligation to his former wife if she can provide for herself. Since women are vital in the workforce just as men are, it is unlikely that a judge will order alimony if both partners brought equal income to a marriage.

No partner should financially lose from a marriage. If young children are involved and one parent needs to stay at home, for example, alimony can be fair until the parent can start working. The children require the support of both parents. Alimony is an equal opportunity responsibility, and although the system is changing, most alimony recipients are women.

Alimony helps and protects a former spouse who cannot take care of all their necessary expenses on their own. Additionally, child support is often an essential obligation during parenting. None of these laws should be used to punish a spouse. If you need to know more about alimony and child support, you may want to contact an attorney.