In any divorce process, the issue of spousal support is often a contentious one. Who will pay for it? How much should they pay? What if the spouse who is supposed to be receiving support can’t find work? These are all questions that need to be answered in order to ensure a fair and equitable divorce. In this article, we will explore how spousal support is determined in the state of Texas. We will also look at some of the factors that a court will consider when making its decision.
What is spousal support and who qualifies for it in Texas?
Spousal support is money that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce. It is intended to help provide financial stability for both parties during the transition from married life to single life.
In Texas, the court will consider several factors when determining whether or not spousal support should be awarded. These include the length of the marriage, age and health of each spouse, current monthly income and earning capacity of each spouse, contributions made by either party in terms of childcare or homemaking services during the marriage, current needs and abilities of each party to pay spousal support, assets and debts held by either party at the time of divorce, fault in causing the dissolution of the marriage (if applicable), and any other relevant factors.
It’s important to note that there is no one-size fits all solution for those seeking spousal support. Your case may be radically different from someone else’s case with similar circumstances.
How is spousal support determined in Texas?
The court will take all the above factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to award spousal support. If the court finds that one spouse is entitled to receive spousal support, they will then calculate an amount based on their income and ability to pay. The court may also impose conditions or restrictions on how long a spouse can expect to receive alimony payments.
What is the maximum amount of spousal support that can be awarded in Texas?
In Texas, the maximum amount of spousal support a court can order is 20% of the paying spouse’s net resources, or $5,000 per month, whichever happens to be less. However, if the divorcing couple had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that settled on a different or higher amount then the court will likely honor that amount.
It is important to remember that how spousal support is determined in Texas can vary depending on the individual circumstances of each case. It is essential to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney if you have questions about your particular situation and what options are available for receiving or paying spousal support. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that a fair agreement regarding spousal support can be achieved.
How long can you expect to receive spousal support payments?
The duration of spousal support payments can vary and depends on the specific circumstances of each case. Texas courts may order the payments to be made for either a temporary spousal support period or a permanent period. Temporary orders are usually put in place to help cover short-term basic needs, whereas longer-term orders are meant to provide financial security into the future.
The Texas Family Code states that spousal maintenance cannot surpass a certain limit depending on the duration of the marriage. For example, if your marriage lasted ten years then the maximum duration of spousal support is typically sixty months. If your marriage lasted between twenty and thirty years, then the maximum is eighty-four months. If your marriage lasted longer than thirty years, then the maximum is 120 months.
However, some judges may not award the maximum duration of spousal maintenance depending on the following:
- Awarding of separate assets or debts or property division
- Noneconomic marriage contributions
- Child support payments or receipts
- The reason for the dissolution of the marriage
- Non-criminal domestic violence or abuse or family violence
What to do if you are denied spousal support or feel that you are not getting enough money?
If you are denied spousal support or feel that the amount being awarded is not enough, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. They can review your case and help determine if there may be grounds for additional support payments. It is also possible to request a modification of an existing agreement if circumstances have changed since the order was first issued.
Likewise, if you’ve been ordered to pay maintenance and believe that the support should be terminated, you can work with an attorney to potentially put an end to the payments depending on the details of your situation.
What if you don’t want to pay spousal support?
Occasionally, some spouses feel as though they shouldn’t have to pay their court ordered spousal support. It is important to keep in mind that contractual spousal support and a court order for maintenance must be paid to the former spouse, also known as the receiving spouse, or the requesting spouse. Violating a court order or a contractual obligation can have serious legal consequences. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important that people going through divorces seek out qualified legal representation with experience in family law.
In conclusion, understanding how spousal support is determined in Texas is essential for those who are going through a divorce. Knowing what factors courts consider when making decisions about whether or not to award alimony and how much money should be paid out will help ensure fair agreements between both parties. With the right legal guidance, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that all of your reasonable needs are met.
Call the Jimenez Law Firm at (214) 513-0125 or reach out to us online if you have questions regarding spousal support, divorce, or mediation.