Alimony, spousal support or spousal maintenance, as Texas courts call it: These terms all refer to the same legal concept. Either you or your former spouse would take on part of the financial responsibility for the other after your divorce.
Of all of the issues that divorced couples in Houston have to deal with, alimony may be the most contentious. Perhaps the reason for this is the perception that an obligation to pay alimony is often punitive. While the contribution that one may have had in ending their marriage may be something considered when rewarding alimony, its general purpose is simply to support a financially disadvantaged divorcee until they are able to secure gainful employment.
If you are filing for divorce in Texas, you may be eligible to receive alimony as part of your divorce settlement. Alimony is designed to help you get back on track if you were financially dependent on your spouse while you were married. Whether you stayed at home to take care of the children or you put your career on hold so your spouse could further their education or career, you may receive financial help from your spouse to help you get on your feet and maintain a consistent quality of life.
Couples who decide to file for divorce in Texas may be ordered to pay alimony as a part of the divorce settlement. Alimony is designed to help people who are dependent on their spouse’s income, to get on their feet, make ends meet and maintain a certain quality of life once the divorce is finalized.
People who pay spousal support in Texas are accustomed to writing this expense off on their taxes. However, alimony may be one more expense that people cannot deduct during tax season.
Regardless of which end of the equation you find yourself on during your Texas divorce, you may have questions about whether you will have to pay, or, conversely, receive, alimony payments. Many divorcing Texans have questions about how long they may have to pay, or may be able to receive, what the state calls spousal maintenance and how the state arrives at the decided upon amount of the maintenance.
If you live in Texas and your marriage is nearing its end, you may have concerns about how you are going to provide for yourself once your divorce finalizes. Maybe you have been out of the workforce for quite some time so that you could raise a family, or perhaps you sacrificed your own career growth so that your spouse could pursue his or her professional dreams. Regardless, you may have questions about whether you will be eligible for spousal support or maintenance, and if so, for how long.
After a divorce, some people may struggle with various responsibilities, but spousal support payments can be particularly challenging for people who are experiencing financial problems. Unfortunately, falling behind on spousal support payments can create even more financial hardships for both parties. As a result, it is pivotal to understand the importance of staying current on alimony obligations and some of the consequences associated with becoming delinquent. Many people are surprised to find that missing spousal support payments can affect their lives in other ways, such as their ability to receive Social Security benefits.
All sorts of legal issues can arise following a couple's divorce, from the impact of a custody ruling to child support and relocation. However, spousal support can be especially difficult for some people, especially those who may have experienced financial changes recently. For example, someone who was fired or is suffering from a health problem that they never saw coming may have a very hard time paying alimony. Unfortunately, falling behind on spousal support can create additional problems, so it is vital for those who are having a hard time with alimony payments to look into ways to address their spousal support obligations properly.
When you are ordered to pay alimony or if you have an order to be paid alimony in Texas, one thing you have to pay attention to are your tax obligations at the federal level. The IRS has very specific rules for what you must claim when paying or receiving alimony. Not meeting your tax obligations can lead to serious fines and penalties that can really add up.