We’ve all heard the common myth of Texas being a non-alimony state, but that isn’t true. Although we don’t refer to the post-divorce process of one spouse paying to support the other as alimony, there are statutes in the Texas Family Code that clearly define the process. Spousal Maintenance, or alimony as it’s usually called, is a temporary monetary support order or agreement that’s separate from child support and property division.
If you’re looking for an experienced family lawyer in Houston to guide you through the process of either securing spousal maintenance or fighting such a request, call Attorney Tonya D. Jones today at 832-230-4210 to arrange a consultation about your situation.
Spousal Maintenance & Texas Family Law
Eligibility for Spousal Support
Prior to being awarded spousal support from a Texas family court there are a few requirements the court must verify. In order to qualify for spousal support the requesting party must prove domestic assault/family-violence, disability, or a justifiable reason as to why they aren’t able to financially support themselves.
One form of justification is the “stay at home” parent. If the requesting party was out of the workforce for a considerable period of time, for the sake of the betterment of the family or the career or business of their spouse, a court may award the requesting party temporary spousal support.
However, the requesting party must prove they’re making a concerted effort to either re-enter the workforce or receive education and/or job training to become economically viable in the future. In other words, the “I won’t work so he or she’ll be forced to pay” strategy won’t work in Texas and could prove catastrophic for the requesting party.
If the requesting party isn’t eligible for spousal maintenance, both of the divorcing parties can create a post-divorce contractual agreement which may supersede the guidelines of the Texas Family Code. This is often done for tax purposes and for covering expenses that both parties agree to, but that the court may not have addressed.
Time Frames & Dollar Amounts
As far as court-orders for spousal maintenance are concerned, there are some restrictions on the amount of spousal maintenance a judge may order and for how long those orders may remain in place. If you have questions about your situation in particular, don’t hesitate to contact Attorney Tonya D. Jones at 832-230-4210.
In cases of domestic violence and marriages that lasted between 10 and 20 years, a judge may order spousal maintenance for a period not to exceed 5 years.
For couples married for more than 20 years, a family court may order spousal maintenance for up to 10 years. However, there are no limits when it comes to financial support for disabled spouses and disabled children of marriages.
The maximum amount the court may award as payment is capped at 5,000.00 or 20% of the paying spouse’s income, whichever is less.
Texas child support guidelines dictate that 20% of the paying party’s income should be paid plus an additional 5% for each additional child, up to 6. However, that’s a loose guideline that doesn’t take into account other possible factors that may be considered by the court when determining the amount of a child support order.
Need to Fight or Claim Spousal Maintenance?
Contact Attorney Tonya D. Jones, Family Lawyer
Whether we function as a mediator or as your Attorney, Jones Law, PLLC will work with you, your spouse, and the Houston family court to ensure that a solution is created that’s tailored to fit the needs of yourself and your family.
To schedule a confidential consultation with Attorney Tonya D. Jones call our office immediately. Our phone number is 832-230-4210.
A spouse with less than honorable motives may lie, cheat, and hide assets to prevent you from realizing a fair resolution to the dissolution of the marriage. Attorney Tonya D. Jones has experience finding money, assets, property, and ensuring that our clients get a fair and favorable deal. Reach out to us immediately if you need our help.