Get Practical Advice Regarding Spousal Support

Whether you are seeking or contesting spousal support, it is important to have an experienced lawyer who can protect your rights. Temporary spousal support is support that is received or paid to a party during the time in which a divorce suit is pending. A court in Texas may award temporary support to maintain the status quo of the parties until a divorce becomes final.

Generally speaking the amount of temporary support awarded depends primarily on need. It is important for your lawyers to correctly assess need whether asking for or contesting spousal support. Don't let inexperience subject you to less than you need or more than you should be obligated to pay.

Spousal Maintenance can be awarded by a Texas court to provide temporary and rehabilitative support for a spouse after divorce. Eligibility for spousal maintenance is based on length of the marriage and minimum reasonable needs of a spouse. A claim for spousal maintenance can be complex based on the facts of the case and whether or not defenses to such claims can be raised. The amount of and duration of such obligations are limited under Texas law. Our experienced lawyers are prepared to make your case for spousal maintenance or to raise your defenses against it.

At Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., a service-minded firm based in Houston, we advocate vigorously for our clients' rights. We understand that receiving too little or paying too much when it comes to spousal support can seriously affect your estates, your lifestyle and the lives of your children.

Recent Changes In The Law

Recent changes to Texas family law have increased the length of time spousal support may be paid. Depending on the length of the marriage and whether family violence was committed, spousal support may now be granted for up to five, seven or even 10 years.

The party receiving support must lack sufficient property to provide for his/her minimum reasonable needs and must meet one of the following criteria:

  • The recipient cannot earn sufficient income because of an incapacitating mental or physical condition;
  • The marriage lasted for at least 10 years and the recipient cannot earn sufficient income;
  • The recipient is the custodian of a child with special needs; or
  • The payer committed family violence within two years of the divorce filing.

Every case is different, so it is important to discuss your case with a divorce attorney before assuming that you do or do not qualify for spousal support, or you will or will not be obligated to pay spousal support, because you may have defenses against paying such obligation.

Contractual Alimony

Although Texas is a "no-alimony" state, parties can enter into contractual alimony agreements that may benefit both parties. This is especially true when it comes to high net worth estates.

Unlike spousal support, contractual alimony is not ordered by the court; it must be agreed on by both parties. It can be used to mitigate tax obligations for the payer or for the purposes of accomplishing property division when obligations must be paid out over time and cash is unavailable at the time of divorce.

Contact An Attorney

Contact our offices for guidance regarding support matters. Our attorneys provide representation to clients throughout Texas and beyond.