Alimony in Texas: Your Complete Guide
Alimony is a type of payment that is given to spouses who are divorced, separated, or widowed, usually because one party cannot afford to live without financial assistance. This could happen due to a divorce, death of a partner, disability, or simply because one person earns more money than the other.
The amount of alimony you receive depends on several factors, including how long you've been married, whether there are children involved, your age, your health, and what assets you brought into the relationship.What Are the Qualifications for Alimony in Texas?
Texas law requires that there be some sort of agreement between the parties involved in order for one party to receive alimony payments. This type of payment is called "negotiated alimony." If no such agreement exists, the court will grant alimony based on what it deems to be "reasonable," considering many factors, including the length of the marriage, age of the parties, the health of the parties, and whether children are involved.
In addition to determining the reasonableness of the award, the court will also look at how much money is being paid out. An ex-spouse who receives $1,500 per month in alimony might think that he or she deserves more, but the court might decide that $1,500 is fair because it is less than half of the other person's income.
If you want to seek alimony in Texas, you'll need to prove that you meet the requirements listed above. You'll also need to show that you're entitled to the payments and that they are reasonable.What Does the Court Consider When Ordering Alimony Payments?
Alimony is typically awarded to help meet some of the costs associated with maintaining a household during a period of separation. This type of payment can be ordered by the court under certain conditions, including if both spouses are still married to someone else and there are no children involved. There are many different types of alimony, such as permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony, and periodic alimony. Each type of alimony requires a different set of considerations. For example, a person seeking temporary alimony might be able to prove that he or she is unable to maintain a standard of living without receiving assistance. A person seeking permanent alimony might be required to show that he or she cannot earn sufficient wages to provide adequate support.
In deciding whether to award alimony, courts consider several things, including the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the health of the parties, their earning abilities, and how much property each party owns. Some of these factors can be considered in determining whether to award alimony; others can affect what amount of alimony is appropriate.
The court can order alimony payments or spousal support based on one or more of the following factors:
- Whether one party is entitled to receive alimony because he or she does not have sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to him or her, to provide for his or her reasonable needs, considering his or her ability to pay.
- Whether one party is obligated to provide alimony because he or her spouse has a disability that prevents him or her from working and providing for himself or herself.
- Whether either party has engaged in domestic violence against the other party.
- Whether either party has been convicted of a felony offense involving moral turpitude.
- Any other factor relevant to the case.
Texas law does not specify how long a person must receive alimony payments. However, it does set forth specific guidelines for determining whether or not a party is entitled to such payments. If you are seeking alimony, there are several factors that determine whether or not you qualify for support payments. In most cases, you will not be eligible for alimony unless the marriage lasts longer than ten years. You will also likely not be able to collect alimony if you committed certain acts during your relationship, including physical abuse, sexual assault, or even murder.
In addition, the court will look at the financial circumstances of both parties while considering whether or not either party needs assistance financially. If you believe that you do not meet the criteria for receiving alimony, you should consult with a divorce attorney 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, immediately. This could help you avoid being forced into making unfair decisions concerning your finances. For example, you may not want to agree to a property settlement that requires you to sell your home or give up custody of your children. Contact us today at Thorntonesquirelawgroup for a free consultation.How to Avoid Paying Alimony in Texas
In Texas, courts use one of three methods to determine how much alimony you owe your ex-spouse. You could pay nothing, or you could pay according to a percentage of your income, or you could pay based on a formula that takes into account your financial situation and the length of the marriage.
If you are required to pay alimony, you should know what options you have for avoiding those payments. If you want to stop making alimony payments entirely, you can file for divorce. This allows you to end your relationship without having to worry about the consequences of breaking up.
However, you can still face serious penalties if you don't follow the terms of the divorce decree. For example, you could lose custody of your children. In addition, you could risk being held responsible for child support obligations.
If you decide to continue to pay alimony, however, you have some additional options. You can try to modify the original alimony arrangement. This requires filing paperwork with the court and showing proof that your circumstances have changed. Alternatively, you can ask the judge to reduce your obligation, or even eliminate it altogether.
You may also be allowed to request a modification of the amount owed every six months. This is called a motion to modify. A hearing will be scheduled to discuss whether or not the court should change the amount of alimony you pay.
Finally, you can always appeal the decision. An appellate court will review the case and make a final determination.