Dedicated Spousal Support Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Texas family courts typically assume alimony or spousal maintenance is not a necessary part of a divorce agreement, unless the spouse who is requesting the financial support can demonstrate the requirement is necessary when the couple divorces.
Either spouse can request spousal support in Houston, Texas, and the court will assess their reasonable need for the financial support while reviewing each spouse’s unique circumstances, as each case will be decided on its own merit.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our spousal support attorneys in Houston, Texas understand that our clients often require alimony after a divorce while they establish an income, reestablish their career, or to learn a new skill to begin supporting their new life.
Whether you hope to receive alimony or avoid paying spousal support in Harris County, our alimony lawyers in Houston will provide the knowledgeable legal counsel you need to pursue solutions that fit your unique circumstances.
When Does the Court Grant Spousal Support In Houston, Texas?
Receiving or paying alimony may work differently based on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, and whether one spouse was at fault for the marriage’s dissolution.
The court may order maintenance for either spouse only if the spouse seeking maintenance will lack enough property, including the spouse's separate property, on the dissolution of the marriage to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs and:
(1) the spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that also constitutes an act of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004, committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse's child and the offense occurred:
(A) within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed; or
(B) while the suit is pending; or
(2) the spouse seeking maintenance:
(A) is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
(B) has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs; or
(C) is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs.
What Does The Court Consider When Deciding Alimony In Houston, Texas?
Either party may be eligible for alimony in a Texas divorce, and the court will decide on whether the financial support is required by assessing several factors and weighing each side of the argument.
The court considers the following when deciding alimony in Texas:
- The financial situation of each party
- The length of the marriage
- Which parent will have custody of the child
- The division of assets and debts
- Each spouse’s earning power
There is no specific formula that states how much spousal maintenance one spouse will be awarded, but several different factors will be weighed when determining the amount.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our experienced spousal support attorneys in Houston will outline your financial requirements and present them to your spouse during mediation or fight for your financial needs inside the courtroom during litigation, so you can pursue the alimony amount you deserve.
Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements May Include Alimony in Houston, Texas
Some couples sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that include provisions for Texas spousal support in the event of a dissolution of marriage.
If this happens, one party may raise a dispute to challenge whether all the terms of the agreement were met.
Ultimately, the family law judge deciding your case must determine whether to award alimony.
Each of these arguments will be upheld by our experienced Houston family law attorneys to ensure that — whether you are the one requesting alimony, or the one who may be ordered to pay it — your rights are protected throughout the proceedings as we pursue the best outcome for your case.
How Long is Spousal Support Paid in Texas?
Spousal support timelines differ greatly for each unique circumstance.
For instance, spousal support cannot last for more than five years if the higher-earning spouse was:
- Convicted of family violence within the past two years
- Received deferred adjudication for the offense
Other restrictions on spousal support payments are derived from the length of the marriage, and can include:
- Alimony cannot last for more than five years if the marriage lasted at least 10 years but less than 20 years, spousal support cannot last for more than five years.
- Spousal maintenance cannot last more than seven if the marriage lasted more than 20 years but less than 30 years.
- Alimony cannot last more than ten years if the marriage lasted 30 or more years.
There are many factors that change the way spousal support is awarded and includes special circumstances.
If the receiving spouse is disabled or is taking care of a disabled child but cannot meet their needs, spousal support may remain in place indefinitely.
Spousal support will also be terminated in Texas when the:
- Supported spouse remarries
- Supported spouse cohabitates with a third-party while in a dating or romantic relationship
- Either party dies
- Upon a review or future order of the court
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our alimony lawyers in Houston will explain each of your rights and what you type of financial support you are entitled to based on your unique circumstances.
When Can Alimony Be Modified in Houston, Texas?
Financial support that is ordered by the family court can be modified when the needs of the recipient significantly diminish, or when the payer’s income significantly decreases.
The modification request must go through the courts to seek approval. At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our spousal support attorneys in Houston will provide the guidance and legal representation our clients need to move forward, no matter which side of the argument they are on.
Houston Spousal Support Lawyers Can Help You Navigate Alimony Requirements in Texas
Texas family courts do not automatically grant alimony to either party in a divorce, which makes it crucial to work with a spousal support attorney in Houston who can assess your complete case and advocate for your interests.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our spousal support lawyers in Houston can help you resolve several issues regarding alimony in Texas. Our spousal support attorney in Houston has more than 70 years of experience assisting couples trying to understand how the State of Texas handles spousal support and other divorce matters.
We are members of the Texas State Bar Association and are eager to protect your interests during this difficult time. Call (713) 336-7200 for a consultation or complete our online contact form and one of our experienced spousal support attorneys in Houston will contact you right away to schedule a confidential consultation, so know what you are entitled to during your divorce.