It goes by numerous names: alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance. Whatever you call it, the concept is the same. Divorce often causes a financial imbalance between spouses or leads to serious hardship for one. Regular payments made to that spouse can help even out the imbalance and ensure that he or she doesn’t face greater economic harm.
Below, you’ll find some information about how temporary spousal support and spousal maintenance work in Texas, as well as criteria for eligibility. It’s important to remember however, that there tend to be exceptions to every significant rule in this area of law. As a result, it’s important to avoid making assumptions about your case, whether for better or worse. Instead, speak with a family lawyer Williamson County, TX residents trust to gain insight and clarity about your situation. Whether you’re worried that you’ll have to pay alimony or you’re hoping to be awarded spousal support, the Law Office of Jason Wright, PLLC can help you better understand your options at this time.
Financial Support While a Divorce is Pending
Divorce often takes a significant amount of time, which can be difficult if you’re already facing financial hardship. As a remedy to this, you can work with our Williamson County, TX family lawyer to seek a temporary court order for temporary spousal support, which, if awarded, will last until the divorce has been finalized.
Financial payments made post-divorce are known as spousal maintenance in Texas. In some cases, divorcing spouses will work out a voluntary agreement among themselves, in which case there are no concerns about eligibility.
However, absent mutual agreement, the spouse seeking support must meet some stringent eligibility requirements. In most cases, they must show that they are unable to earn “sufficient income” to meet basic/reasonable needs and that they have been married at least 10 years. If the marriage lasted less than 10 years, they must instead show that they are unable to earn sufficient income because they have a mental/physical disability, or they are taking care of a child (of the marriage) with a physical/mental disability who therefore requires exceptional care.
There is a second scenario that could make someone eligible for spousal maintenance. In addition to showing that they cannot afford to meet their basic needs on their own, they must also show that their spouse committed an act of family violence for which they were either convicted or received deferred adjudication. The act must have been committed either within the previous two years leading up to divorce or during the divorce proceedings.
These eligibility requirements can be confusing, so please make sure you discuss spousal maintenance with our Williamson County, TX family lawyer team early on in the process. What you do now can affect your circumstances down the road.
Payment Amounts And Duration
The payment amounts are very straightforward, but when it comes to duration, there are some relatively confusing provisions in the state’s laws.
When awarding spousal maintenance, the court must award the lesser of these two options: 20 percent of the gross monthly income of the paying spouse, or $5,000.
Spousal maintenance is awarded for different durations based on the following circumstances:
Questions? Contact the Firm for Answers
Spousal maintenance and spousal support can be difficult to understand, but an experienced Williamson County, TX family lawyer can walk you through the process. For answers to your support questions, contact our firm to arrange an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.