One of the challenging issues often faced in divorce is alimony. Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or maintenance, may be required under various circumstances such as if the other spouse cannot support themselves with their own income. The amount of alimony payments is also based on various circumstances such as length of the marriage, ability of the receiving spouse to earn income, and the employability of each party. Alimony agreements can be negotiated before going to court or determined by a judge in court.
Many spouses do not wish to pay alimony to someone they are divorcing. This can become a contentious point in the divorce proceedings. If you are going through a divorce, contact a Texas alimony lawyer who could protect your rights and work to help you receive fair and just alimony payments. A capable family lawyer can negotiate the payments, compile supporting evidence, and represent your best interests if your case goes to court.
When Alimony is Required in Texas
In Texas, there are some situations in which the court may order a spouse to pay alimony after a divorce. Firstly, the court may require a spouse to pay alimony if their partner cannot earn an adequate income for their needs due to a physical or mental disability or if the marriage lasted longer than ten years.
Secondly, the court can demand spousal maintenance when children from the marriage require special care that prevents the receiving spouse from earning enough income or requires extra income to meet their needs. The final instance where a spouse may have to pay spousal maintenance is if they have been convicted of violent crimes against their family either during divorce proceedings or within two years prior to the divorce filing. If you need advice negotiating the amount of your alimony payments or think your spousal support payments are too high, contact a Texas alimony attorney.
Non-required Alimony Agreements
Alimony agreements can be made in other circumstances provided that both parties are in agreement. In cases where an agreement is reached by both parties, alimony arrangements can be made even if the court cannot legally command alimony to be paid.
How Does the Court Determine Spousal Support?
Determining how much one former spouse needs to pay the other can be a complex and difficult issue. The court takes numerous factors into account when making this decision. These include but are not limited to:
- Length of the marriage
- Patterns of family violence
- Acts of cruel treatment such as adultery
- Age of the receiving spouse and their ability to earn income for themselves
- Education level and employable skills of each spouse
- Whether or not the receiving spouse was considered a “homemaker” during the marriage
Because these issues are often confusing, it is best that spouses seeking support consult with an experienced Texas alimony attorney to determine what agreement would meet their specific needs.
How a Texas Alimony Lawyer Can Help
Alimony attorneys are experienced and adept at navigating the difficult terrain of the divorce legal process. With issues as complex and important as spousal support, consult with a Texas alimony lawyer so that you have legal representation on your side fighting for the best possible outcome for your needs.
If you feel that you need spousal maintenance to be able to meet your needs or if you feel that your spouse’s alimony request is unreasonable, contact a Texas alimony attorney. Your negotiations between you and your former spouse may benefit greatly from the guidance and knowledge of a spousal support lawyer.