Texas Family Law Attorneys Assisting with Alimony and Child Support
If you are planning for a divorce in Texas, it is important to consider all financial aspects of the dissolution of your marriage from the start. Two essential aspects of planning for divorce financially are alimony and child support. Only couples with minor children from the marriage will need to think about child support, but many parties may be wondering whether alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is likely to be awarded in a divorce case. Unlike other states, Texas only award alimony in limited circumstances. If you have questions about alimony or child support, it is extremely important to get in touch with an experienced Texas alimony & child support lawyer who can assist you with your case.
What is Alimony?
The Texas Family Code governs most legal matters pertaining to alimony and child support in Bedford, Texas. In different states, the term “alimony” can have different meanings. While it is nearly always a type of payment made from one spouse to another upon divorce, some states make a determination about support based on need, while others may use the fault of the paying spouse in its determination.
Generally speaking, it is more difficult to obtain spousal support in Texas than in many other states. In order to be able to receive alimony or spousal support, the party seeking the maintenance payment must have insufficient property once the divorce has been finalized—both the portion of community property and separate property—to provide for that spouse’s minimum reasonable needs. Once this requirement has been met, one of the following must be true in order for the spouse seeking maintenance to receive support:
- Paying spouse committed an act of family or domestic violence within two years prior to the date of the divorce filing or while the divorce case has been pending; or
- Spouse seeking maintenance 1) cannot earn sufficient income to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs due to a physical or mental disability or 2) was married to the paying spouse for at least 10 years and cannot provide for his or her own minimum reasonable needs or 3) is the caregiver for a child from the marriage who requires significant care as a result of a physical or mental disability, which then prevents that spouse seeking maintenance from providing for his or her own minimum reasonable needs.
Once a court decides alimony is appropriate, it will look to a variety of relevant factors to determine the amount. The duration of alimony depends largely upon the length of the marriage, but it may be indefinite when a physical or mental disability exists.
Child Support Model in Texas
Child support is handled much differently from alimony in Texas. After a court awards child custody, the noncustodial parent (the parent without physical custody, known as possession under Texas law), is responsible for paying child support. The child support calculation is streamlined so that the noncustodial parent simply pays a percentage of his or her net income based on the number of children who require support.
Contact an Alimony & Child Support Attorney in Texas
Family support can be complicated, especially in complex child custody situations or in scenarios where the need for spousal support may not be viewed similarly by both parties. If you have questions about alimony, child support, or other financial matters arising out of your divorce, you should know that an experienced Texas family lawyer can begin working with you today on your case. Contact Hargrave Law, PC to learn more about the services we provide to clients in Bedford and throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.