A Comprehensive Guide on How to File for Spousal Support in Texas
In Texas, the court awarding spousal support post-divorce is limited due to the state's Family Code designating when and how this can be done. Spousal maintenance does not exist in Texas, however, an exception may be made if physical or mental disability renders a recently divorced individual unable to provide for themselves. The court looks at factors such as income, need, health, and duration of marriage when determining whether to grant such financial assistance. Depending on circumstance and location within Texas the Court will decide how much support should be present.
The Court allows for either spouse seeking spousal maintenance to request it from their ex-spouses immediately after the divorce has been finalized so that sufficient funds are available as soon as possible. To file a claim for any form of alimony in Texas, one must utilize certain forms specific to the county they are filing in and file them with the relevant family district court in which they were divorced or where either spouse resides. Additionally, these forms must also include important documentation necessary for making a good case.Spousal Maintenance
Spousal maintenance, which is also commonly referred to as alimony, can be ordered in Texas courts after a divorce. In order for one spouse to qualify for spousal support, they must first prove that their separate and combined properties would not be enough to meet their own minimum reasonable needs. Additionally, it must also be proven that the marriage has lasted at least 10 years and the requesting spouse does not have the ability to secure employment earning enough to provide for their needs. There are two additional qualifiers for spousal maintenance which involve caring for a disabled child of the marriage or being incapacitated due to a disability during the marriage.
If all conditions are met, then it is possible that court-ordered spousal maintenance could be issued by the courts. The amount of money required may vary depending upon factors such as the length of the marriage, future earning potential, and any other unique financial considerations present in the case. It is important those filing for spousal support consult an experienced attorney who can advise them on how best to proceed with their case.An Explanation of Contractual Alimony in Texas and the Process of Obtaining it
In Texas, contractual alimony is a type of spousal support that can be provided after a divorce. It is not legally mandated, as it is voluntary and negotiated between the spouses, who come to an agreement on how much will be paid, for how long, and what factors may cause it to change. Contractual alimony can also have further provisions in place to protect the receiving spouse such as life insurance, provisions for late payments, and more. It can be used when there are financial resources available, mostly by the self-employed, unemployed, or underemployed spouse during a divorce to qualify for various tasks such as renting an apartment or getting a mortgage loan. Eligibility does not depend on any legal requirements but rather on an agreed-upon arrangement between both parties so that you get the most beneficial terms possible.What Is the Process for Calculating Spousal Maintenance in Texas?
When it comes to deciding on the amount that should be paid in spousal maintenance, or alimony, in Texas, each case is treated as unique and there is no universal formula. The court must look at many factors when deciding how much to award and it may result in drastically different outcomes even with couples in similar circumstances. Factors such as a spouse's age, employment, and education history, the length of the marriage, potential marital misconduct, and a spouse's contribution during the marriage to the household by acting primarily as a homemaker will all be taken into consideration.
While sometimes more expensive settlements can be reached under special circumstances, there are Texas law caps on spousal maintenance awards. The cap set by state family code limits the maximum payments to $5000 per month or 20% of an obligator's average gross monthly income with whichever is lower taking precedence. All things considered, it is essential for all parties involved to consult legal counsel when dealing with cases involving spousal maintenance payments.What Is the Required Duration of Marriage to Qualify for Spousal Maintenance?
When it comes to awarding spousal maintenance, the amount of time that a couple has been married is often taken into consideration. Generally speaking, the Texas Family Code stipulates that spouses must have been married for at least 10 years before they can be entitled to receive any form of financial support. For marriages lasting less than 10 years, there are other conditions that must still be met in order to be eligible for spousal maintenance.
For example, if the marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years, support can only be paid out for a maximum period of 5 years. For marriages lasting over 30 years, spousal maintenance can be awarded for a maximum of 10 years. However, regardless of the length of the marriage, the spouse requesting maintenance must demonstrate an inability to meet his or her minimum reasonable needs before being granted these funds. Therefore seeking legal advice is strongly advised when making decisions about marital dissolution proceedings involving spousal maintenance prior to divorce in the state of Texas.Talk to a Lawyer
An experienced divorce lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, and Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, can help you with your divorce case. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.