Spousal Maintenance, the support given by one divorcing spouse to the other, is no longer a staple of the divorce process. Once, the vast majority of households had one wage earner and one person maintaining the home and caring for the children. This meant that if the couple split up only one spouse was prepared to be self-supporting. Spousal maintenance, was necessary to ensure that the partner who had spent years fulfilling housekeeping and childcare responsibilities would not end up destitute. Now that most households have two wage earners, spousal Maintenance is not as commonly awarded, but is still necessary when one of the parties is unable to meet their minimum reasonable needs on their own.
How the Youngberg Law Firm Can Help
Whether you are the divorcing partner in need of spousal support or the partner worried about having to pay it, the Youngberg Law Firm in Corinth is here to assist you with the strong, caring legal representation you need. Mike Youngberg, is knowledgeable about Texas divorce law and particularly familiar with the spousal maintenance statutes and how they apply to your case. When you come to our office, you will be treated with the respect and empathy you deserve. We are well aware that divorce has emotional as well as financial implications and are committed to helping you navigate one of the most challenging periods of your life.
When Spousal Maintenance Is Paid in Texas
According to Texas law, either spouse may be paid spousal support if one of the following conditions applies:
- The receiving spouse can demonstrate an inability to be self-supporting
- The paying spouse has committed acts of domestic violence during the marriage
- The receiving spouse is obligated to provide care for a disabled child
- The receiving spouse requires support during a period of education or training in order to become self-supporting
- The receiving spouse is in poor health or disabled
- The receiving spouse is elderly
Texas courts, although strict about disbursing spousal maintenance compared to many other states, will take the following variables about respective spouses into account when determining the need and duration of alimony:
- Educational background
- State of mental and physical health
- Employment history
- Income level and financial resources
- Financial misconduct
- Length of the marriage
- Criminal misconduct
- Marital standard of living
It should be noted that spousal maintenance may be awarded as temporary support for the period during which the divorce has not yet been finalized or during the period before one spouse (previously unemployed) finds employment.
How much support will be paid for how long in Texas?
The court awards the supported spouse 20 percent of the payer’s gross monthly income, up to $5,000.00 a month in support. The length of time during which alimony will have to be paid varies according to the length of the marriage and according to how long it may reasonably take for the receiving party to prepare for gainful employment.
Generally speaking, spousal support in Texas is paid for 5 years if the marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years, or up to 7 years if the marriage lasted between 20 and 30 years. A spouse may also be able to obtain alimony if the marriage lasted less than 10 years, but only in certain situations.
At times, temporary spousal maintenance is awarded for just the period of the divorce proceedings or to provide one spouse with time to pursue further education or training necessary to enhance employment opportunities. Long-term spousal maintenance may be awarded in certain limited situations, especially if one spouse is significantly older or dealing with a serious health issue of permanent disability.
Modification or Termination of Spousal Maintenance Agreements in Texas
There are several circumstances which could terminate spousal maintenance. These include:
- Cohabitation — In Texas, cohabitation generally happens when the spouse receiving spousal support begins to live together with a new romantic partner; this situation precludes the necessity for spousal support
- Significant changes in income — e.g. when one party loses a job, receives a pay increase or cut
- Changes in personal circumstances — such as when one party becomes seriously ill or has surgery, becomes permanently disabled, is arrested or institutionalized
Modifications to spousal maintenance agreements have to go through the court, but don’t worry — the Youngberg Law Firm is well able to take care of all the logistics involved. Our goal is always to make divorce more efficient and equitable for you, and to result in less overall stress.
Contact Our Denton County Spousal Support Attorney
Divorce is rarely an easy process. Whether you’re worried about whether you will receive enough spousal support to carry you through, or troubled by the thought that you won’t be able to pay the amount of alimony ordered by the court, our law firm stands solidly behind you. Mike Youngberg has the stamina and determination, as well as the legal skills and strategies to fight successfully for your rights. Contact our office through our website and let us handle everything.