PLEASE NOTE: We are still open and operational! To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options. click here for Covid 19 updates
Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
713-574-7952

Texas and alimony alternatives

Providing financial support for an ex-spouse was more common in the days when spousal duties were typically gender divided. The husband or wage earner was responsible for supporting the wife, the unpaid spouse, after the demise of the marriage. Society and its laws have changed to reflect modern relationships, where Houston marital partners often have comparable educations and financial footing.

Technically, alimony doesn't exist in Texas unless the spouses draw up a formal agreement to continue support after divorce. The agreements must adhere to the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to be valid and accepted by state courts. Both spouses must approve of the terms the contract contains.

Contractual alimony may not be used as a property settlement tool. Spousal support agreements are held apart from any decisions couples make about the division of marital assets and debt. Consequently, "front-loaded" alimony – large payments in the early years after divorce – are discouraged and even penalized under tax rules.

The federal code also states how contractual alimony should be handled for tax purposes. Alimony is deductible on tax returns for payers and added to the gross income of recipients. The written agreement must state the paying spouse's obligation cannot extend beyond the payer's death; remarriage of a recipient spouse may be used as an end date for alimony payments.

The provisions of the contract may not involve or be contingent upon child-related issues. Terms of the agreement should include failsafe systems – what happens should the payer default or the recipient neglects to report or pay sufficient income taxes?

In the absence of a contractual alimony, some spouses may qualify for court-ordered spousal maintenance to meet basic needs. Judges weigh several factors before awarding maintenance including how long a couple was married and the spouses' educational histories and earnings capacities. Detailed claims for spousal maintenance can be discussed with an attorney.

Source: Texas Lawyer, "In Texas, Litigants Have These Two Options for Post-Divorce Support Payments," Jonathan J. Bates, accessed March. 27, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • TAOFLS
  • Board Certified
  • IAFL
  • Super Lawyers 2019
  • Best Lawyers
  • Avvo Rating
  • Avvo Rating
  • Avvo Client Choice 2014
  • Avvo Client Choice 2014
  • Best Law Firms Badge
  • Laura Dale
  • Texas Bar Today Top Ten Badge

Contact Our Experienced Team Today

Se Habla Español | Nous Parlons Français

Due to the experience our lawyers have in many specialized areas, you can rely on us to put together the right team to handle your case, even if it centers on complex issues such as international family law, business valuation or bankruptcy. Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your needs with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
email us for a response

OFFICE LOCATION
1800 Saint James Place
Suite 620
Houston, TX 77056

Phone: 713-574-7952
Fax: 713-600-1718
Houston Law Office Map

Review Us