Divorce Legalese

Legalese can be hard to understand.  Divorce legalese is even more specific. Here is my list of 5 divorce legalese financial terms that are at the top of the list of things I explain to my clients. See if any of your questions can be answered below:

Child Support:

Child support is an amount ordered to be paid by one parent to the other parent in a divorce with children.  Child support can be set by strictly using the guidelines and charts provided in the Texas Family Code.  It can also be set using the guidelines, charts and specific facts of the case including travel costs, the possession and parenting schedule, extracurricular costs and other factors.

Spousal Support:

Spousal support a phrase used to describe financial support paid from one spouse to the other.  Spousal support can be temporary during the divorce or included in the final divorce decree.  It isn’t ordered in every case.  There are specific requirements in the Texas Family Code for spousal support to be ordered in a final decree of divorce.


Alimony is a word that in my experience, most people use interchangeably with spousal support in a divorce.  For family law attorneys in Texas, alimony is different from spousal support.  It has a specific legal meaning and application in Texas courts.

Disproportionate division of the assets: 

A disproportionate division of the assets is a way to describe the division in a divorce that is more than 50% to one party and less than 50% to the other party.  The Texas Family Code provides ways that the court can consider this an option for a divorce case.


QDRO is an abbreviation for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.  A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is an order that divides a particular account with a financial institution per federal law.  It is an order that is required in addition to the divorce decree.

If you have questions about your divorce, please contact Jill O’Connell at 940-497-5454.

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