How to protect myself from having to pay spousal support?

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2011

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How to protect myself from having to pay spousal support?

I have been separated from my wife for about a year. She has agreed to a uncontested divorce but she is stalling until our 10 year anniversary because she feels she will get spousal support then. I don’t know what to do. How can I proceed without her help so that I won’t have to pay this support?

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Spousal support is not automatic in Texas.  The 10 year rule is just a first step in qualifying.  Based on the limited info you have provided (i.e. no details about kids and any unusual medical conditions that your wife may have), you have two pretty strait forward options.  The first is go ahead and file the divorce before the 10 year anniversay.  You don't have to have her permission to file.  Texas is a "no-fault" divorce state which means you do not have to an agreement from the other spouse to get a divorce.  Your second option is to make her support herself which she's stalling for the 10 year anniversary.  If your wife wants spousal support, she will have to demonstrate that she cannot take care of herself.  If you quit footing the bills and she is still able to take care of her minimum needs, her "success" will also be your success.  These two suggestions are really based on the absence of informtion in your question.  You may have other ways to protect yourself depending on other facts specific to your case.  If you are concerned about paying spousal support for several years, you should invest in a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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