Legal Guidance For Simple and Complex Spousal Support & Alimony Cases in Houston, TX
Texas family courts assume that alimony or spousal maintenance is not needed. However, if a party can demonstrate that they are making an effort to earn an income or to learn a new skill, the court might grant support. Either spouse can request spousal support, which is also called alimony or maintenance. Receiving or paying alimony may work differently based on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. Whether you hope to receive alimony or avoid paying it, spousal support lawyers with Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. can provide knowledgeable legal counsel.
When does the court grant spousal support in Texas?
The court may order maintenance for either spouse only if the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient 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?
Either party may be eligible for alimony in a Texas divorce. The court considers the following when deciding alimony:
- 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
Pre- or Postnuptial Agreements May Include Alimony
Some couples sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that include provisions for 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.
When is alimony terminated?
Alimony may be terminated upon the death of either party or if the party who receives alimony remarries.
When can alimony be modified?
The court may modify an agreement for spousal support if the income of the paying party decreases or if the needs of the receiving spouse diminish.
Houston Spousal Support Lawyers Can Help You Navigate Alimony
Texas family courts don’t automatically grant alimony to either party in a divorce, so it’s crucial to work with an attorney who can study your case and advocate for your interests. At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., our spousal support lawyers in Houston can help you resolve a number of issues regarding alimony in Texas. Our lawyers have 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 contact form.