Texas Alimony Attorney
After failing to keep a relationship you first thought would last forever, the last thing you want is to end up financially struggling. If you already parted ways with your spouse, you must be thinking about requesting alimony now. After all, you need support while still trying to become financially independent.
Or perhaps, the other way around applies to you. Perhaps it is you that’s being asked to pay alimony to your spouse, and you’re not sure how to properly handle the legal process of it all.
Whatever your case is, the service of an alimony attorney is not something you should miss. Our excellent team of lawyers is here to help you with every legal requirement you need to work on and more.
Just contact Glen W. Wood, Attorney at Law at (817) 934-7101 to talk to our skilled alimony attorney in Texas now.
Overview of Alimony in Texas
Alimony, as you may already know, is the payment a spouse makes to the other during or after the divorce. In Texas, alimony is also referred to as “spousal maintenance” or “maintenance”. Other terms for an alimony payment include “spousal support” and “contractual alimony”.
According to Texas law, alimony is not part of the marital property division or child support. Instead, it is additional money that a spouse temporarily pays to support his/her former spouse after the divorce. Alimony that is paid even before the divorce is finalized is called “temporary spousal support”.
Alimony is a valuable source of funds for the less fortunate spouse to pay the mortgage and keep the children in the marital home after the divorce. Alimony will also help the spouse to acquire sufficient knowledge and training to get a job and be financially stable enough to provide contributions to the children’s needs.
For comprehensive consultation, do not hesitate to contact our alimony attorney at (817) 934-7101.
Eligibility for Alimony in Texas
Either you or your spouse are eligible to request an alimony payment during a divorce process. However, Texas courts will only award alimony to the requesting spouse who doesn’t have enough property or finances to provide for basic needs at the time of the divorce.
Also, alimony will only be awarded if at least one of the following situations occurred:
- The supporting spouse was convicted with an act of violence against the requesting spouse or their children within two years from the time the divorce was filed or while the divorce is still pending.
- The requesting spouse is incapable of earning enough income to become self-sufficient due to any mental or physical illness.
- The couple has been legally married for at least ten years, and the requesting spouse does not have the income to provide basic needs.
- The requesting spouse is the custodial parent of a child who requires special care or personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability, which prevents the particular spouse from working and earning an income.
It is best to talk to an alimony attorney if you are still unsure if you are eligible to request alimony or if whether your spouse is rightfully requesting for it or not.
Determining Factors of Alimony in Texas
Under the family law of Texas, every alimony case will start with the court’s presumption that spousal maintenance is inappropriate. It is then up to the requesting spouse to prove that he/she has made an effort to earn an income—or to acquire sufficient training to become financially independent—during the divorce or separation process but still needs support.
If the requesting spouse can successfully do this, the court will then move to the alimony evaluation. The following factors are what the court will consider to determine the alimony’s nature, amount, duration, and payment method:
- Both spouses’ ability to meet the requesting spouse’s basic needs
- Education and employment skills of both spouses
- Necessary time for the requesting spouse to acquire sufficient education or training to earn and become financially independent
- Duration of marriage
- The requesting spouse’s age, employment history, earning ability, physical health, and emotional condition
- Both spouses’ ability to meet each of their own needs while paying child support
- Whether either of the spouses has wasted, concealed, destroyed, or disposed of any community property
- Whether either of the spouses contributed to the other’s education, training, or earning power during the marriage
- Properties brought to the marriage by both spouses
- Any contributions of either spouse as a homemaker
- Marital misconduct by either of the spouses during the marriage
- History or pattern of family violence
For any questions on how these factors will be evaluated in your alimony case, seek the counsel of a knowledgeable alimony attorney now.
Duration of Alimony in Texas
According to Texas family law, judges must follow strict guidelines upon deciding on the duration of an alimony award.
If a judge orders a supporting spouse to pay alimony due to physical or mental illness, responsibilities as a custodial parent of an infant or a young child, or another compelling reason, the maintenance will continue as long as the approved conditions exist. Additionally, a periodic review of the alimony agreement may be ordered by the court.
- In adherence to Texas family law, all other maintenance orders are limited to:
- Five years if the couple was legally married for less than ten years and the supporting spouse was convicted with family violence
- Five years if the couple was legally married for more than ten but less than 20 years
- Seven years if the spouses were married for at least 20 but not more than 30 years
- Ten years if the spouses were married for 30 years or more
Unless the requesting spouse has a physical or mental disability, he/she is the custodial parent, or there are other compelling circumstances, Texas law requires the judge to award the shortest necessary duration of alimony. It should just be enough for the requesting spouse to earn an income and be financially independent.
However, alimony will end even before the termination date if the following situations occur:
- Either of the parties dies
- The receiving spouse remarries
- The receiving spouse cohabitates with the person he/she is romantically involved with
Any request for modification in the alimony award needs to be heard first by the judge. Unless this happens, the supporting spouse should continue following the current order.
Amount and Payment Methods of Alimony in Texas
Unlike many other states, Texas enforces a law that limits the amount of alimony that a court can order. Accordingly, alimony should not be more than $5000/month nor more than 20% of the supporting spouse’s average monthly gross income—whichever is less.
The payments are commonly periodic, usually done every month. The court may also issue an income withholding order that will direct the supporting spouse’s employer to deduct alimony payments from that spouse’s paycheck and forward it to the proper court agency.
Modifications on Alimony in Texas
If it can be proven before the court that there has been a material and substantial change of circumstances since the alimony was awarded, a judge can modify the maintenance order. However, until the changes were formally declared, the requirements in the existing order must still be followed.
Failure to follow the court order will result in serious offense and severe penalties. These may include attorney’s fees, bank liens, and even jail time. If the supporting spouse is not paying alimony as per instructed in the order, the receiving spouse can file a formal request in the court to help enforce the order.
To have better legal assistance, it is highly recommended to consult an alimony attorney immediately.
Taxes and Alimony in Texas
According to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for all alimony agreements and court orders finalized on or after January 1, 2019, the alimony payments will no longer be taxable to the receiving spouse. They won’t be tax-deductible for the supporting spouse.
Our alimony attorney will better explain this change to you. Just contact us on (817) 934-7101 for a free and comprehensive consultation.
Best Alimony Attorney to Serve You
Here in Glen W. Wood, Attorney at Law, we have a skilled alimony attorney that could effectively represent you in dealing with your alimony case. With our extensive experience, we guarantee expertise in getting you an alimony settlement that works best for you, no matter if you’re the requesting or the supporting spouse. And if ever you have a prenuptial agreement, we will also help you to deal with that.
Our alimony attorneys in Texas are expert negotiators when it comes to acquiring your desired alimony amount or when trying to change an existing alimony arrangement. Moreover, if you are the receiving spouse and the other party refuses to pay the agreed-upon alimony amount, we will assist you through a lawsuit and deliver the best possible result in the most efficient way there is.
If you choose to work with us, you can ensure yourself a particular legal advantage. We have a deep understanding of the Texas family law and the sufficient experience of actually dealing with it. We know all the legal procedures and can lower the stakes for you.
Additionally, aside from giving you wise counsel, we will also provide emotional support as you go through the whole process. With our best alimony attorney beside you, you can rest assured that your rights are protected, and you will get what you legally deserve.
Consult Us Now
A failed marriage doesn’t mean you need to suffer from financial instability or unfair support order. Whether you are the paying or the supported spouse, we are here to assist you in getting the most favorable alimony agreement legally.
Contact Glen W. Wood, Attorney at Law at (817) 934-7101 and consult our best alimony attorney in Texas now.