We are a long way from the 1950′s, but there are still several families that have one parent stay home and take care of the family. In the alternative, one parent may work part-time so that they can be home when the children need them. Everyone knows that in a Texas Divorce case, that the parent who does not have the primary right to establish the children’s residence will pay child support and health insurance. In a divorce with children, the child support is set at a statutorily decided guideline percentage range. Sometimes, the child support payment is not enough to make up the difference to cover all of the bills.
There are two mechanisms in a Texas divorce that are designed to even the playing field. First of all, usually community property funds are used to hire a divorce lawyer. Just because one spouse in the divorce has all the access to the community property funds, does not mean the other spouse does not have equal right to those funds. In a divorce case, the judge can order one party to pay the attorneys fees for the other party. Also, in a child custody case, the judge can award a parent attorney fees when the parent had to hire an attorney for the protection and the best interests of the child. Therefore, the award of attorneys fees is one way to even the playing field in a divorce case.
The other statutory provision that helps the homemaker type in a divorce case is the award of temporary spousal support. The timing of this award is at the Temporary Orders Hearing (TOH) of the divorce case. At the TOH, each party to the divorce must fill out a Financial Information Sheet (FIS). On the FIS, each party puts down the amount of income each of them make. Also, all of the bills and liabilities of each party is responsible is listed. If the working party has an excess of income and the homemaker party in the divorce has less income than monthly payments, then the Court may order the working party to pay temporary spousal support, in addition to child support, to account for the negative difference. In a divorce case, temporary spousal support could be time limited for a few months, or it could be set in place until the divorce is finalized.