Spousal support is money one spouse pays the other after a divorce. Spousal support is commonly referred to as alimony, but in Texas, the terms used most often are “maintenance” or “spousal maintenance.”
Ongoing maintenance is not automatic; spouses must qualify for it. Once a spouse has demonstrated a need for maintenance, a judge then considers multiple factors when determining spousal support payments in The Colony. To learn more about this process from an experienced spousal support attorney, contact our firm today.
The law in Texas begins with the assumption that a divorce should end a spouse’s obligation to provide financial support. A spouse seeking maintenance must prove that their income is insufficient to meet their monthly expenses and that the property they will take from the marriage will not cover their basic needs.
Once a spouse has proved they require adequate funds, they must show that one of the following is true:
Only after a spouse has proved their inability to support themselves will a judge consider how much maintenance they require.
The law places a significant burden on spouses when determining support payments in The Colony. Allow a committed attorney to assist in compiling the proof necessary to justify maintenance.
Texas Family Code Annotated §8.052 guides a judge in determining how much maintenance to order. The law requires the judge to consider each spouse’s ability to provide for their basic needs, considering both their separate property and their share of the marital property. Each spouse’s age, education, employment history, and marketable skills must factor into the equation. If a spouse is paying child support, a judge must consider whether the paying spouse can afford child support payments and maintenance.
If the requesting spouse deferred or interrupted their education or career to care for children, the court must consider how long it would take them to learn or regain skills that could help them earn a living. The determination of maintenance must take into account any contributions the requesting spouse made to the other spouse’s career or professional success.
Courts also must consider how long the couple was married and each spouse’s conduct while married. If either spouse were irresponsible with shared assets or committed marital misconduct such as adultery, a court would consider those facts when determining spousal support payments in The Colony. A history of family violence also could impact maintenance.
Maintenance could provide a spouse a financial cushion while they seek further education or training, or until their youngest child enters school full-time. However, maintenance only provides for basic needs.
Texas law limits maintenance to $5000 monthly or 20 percent of the paying spouse’s average monthly gross income—whichever is less. This limit helps determine the maximum amount of maintenance a spouse may receive by court order in The Colony.
Divorcing spouses often negotiate their settlement, and courts encourage them to do so. The spouses could include maintenance in their agreement and choose an amount that differs from the statutory amount. Courts generally approve negotiated financial arrangements between divorcing spouses.
Ongoing financial support for the lower-earning spouse is often a contentious subject in divorces. Courts generally do not favor awarding maintenance except when a spouse can prove hardship would result without it. The requesting spouse’s ability to earn an independent living is a critical factor in determining spousal support payments in The Colony.
Whether you need maintenance or hope to avoid paying it, a spousal support attorney could help you make your case. Reach out to our firm today to schedule a consultation.
Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.