Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm a stay-at-home spouse getting a divorce

In Texas we have gender neautral laws. 

Yes, I've represented women that had stay-at-home husbands that had not worked for over 10 years.  FYI:  It's interesting to watch women complain that they are going to have to pay spousal support (aka alimony) to their husbands! 

Yes, I've represented stay-at-home spouses that had not worked over 20 years. 

Unfortunately, getting a divorce is a real shock to a stay-at-home spouse.

Generally, spousal support is designed in Texas to compensate spouses when there is not enough community property to get them by after the divorce.  Many times it's limited to 3 years maximum.  This is a shock to most people.  However, the legislature is now beginning to relize that many stay-at-home spouses are disabled and need more than a couple of years of help. 

Unfortunately, many people divorcing in Texas just don't have enough income to support to households.  The stay-at-home spouse gets dose of reality when they realize that their income is going to drop dramatically after the divorce and that the laws of the State of Texas do not protect them!  This is especially true when they are not within Social Security ages! 

In cases I've mediated, I've actually encouarged some couples to stay married and just live apart.  Most times this is not what the healthy spouse wants.  The healthy spouse wants to get re-married and have a life.  The sick spouse is "clinging" onto their spouse for the health insurance benefits. 

Unfortunately, most legislatures lag behind in what is happening in our society.  If you want to change our current laws, you need to get involved NOW in writing and communicating with our TX legislature.  Don't wait until the legislature meets -- then it's too late. 

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