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Alimony for spouses with their own wealth: Fair or free ride?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | High-Asset Divorce

Dissolving a marriage is rarely smooth sailing. Emotions often run high, especially when untangling complex and high-value assets. A particularly thorny issue arises when a financially well-off spouse seeks alimony from the other.

Often, this can leave the other party feeling blindsided or resentful. If you question the legitimacy of your spouse’s request or are considering spousal maintenance for yourself, the following information can illuminate the situation.

Basic needs – and beyond

Traditionally, spousal maintenance helps ensure that the financially disadvantaged spouse can has basic necessities. However, having wealth does not necessarily negate the need for spousal maintenance. When a spouse puts their career on hold to raise kids or spends their assets to support their partner, alimony can be seen as a form of compensation for their contribution to the marriage.

Bridging the gap

Even with wealth, adjusting to a single income after divorce can be tough. Divorce can disrupt financial structures, and alimony may act as a bridge, giving the receiving spouse time to adjust and re-enter the workforce. Here, the focus is on a smooth transition — not replicating the precise pre-divorce lifestyle.

Standard of living and marriage length

Courts consider the standard of living enjoyed during the union, especially in long marriages. A spouse accustomed to a certain lifestyle for many years may receive temporary alimony to allow them time to adjust to the change. However, many states, including Texas, are becoming hesitant to award spousal support.

The bottom line

Understanding the factors at play is crucial regardless of whether you are seeking or opposing alimony in your high-asset divorce. Having experienced legal guidance will help you learn more about how spousal maintenance works.