KINGWOOD SPOUSAL SUPPORT LAWYER
When you are dissolving a marriage in Kingwood, you and your spouse may need to discuss spousal support as part of your divorce proceedings. Alimony is often a common area of high conflict issues and disagreement in divorce. Understanding Texas spousal support laws is essential to determine how it applies to your divorce agreement and help your future financial well-being. Working with an experienced Kingwood spousal support lawyer can help you advocate for your legal rights during the complex legal process.
At Moffett Law Firm, our Kingwood spousal support attorneys understand that divorce-related issues, such as spousal support, are highly emotional and personal. With aggressive litigation and mediation strategies, we work to achieve our client’s legal goals. We have 30+ years of combined experience in Texas marriage law and offer personalized legal guidance for your unique case. It is important to carefully calculate spousal support to meet your needs after a divorce.
Spousal Support vs. Spousal Maintenance in Kingwood
The definition of spousal support and maintenance varies under Texas law. While spousal support is voluntary and generally agreed upon before divorce finalization, spousal maintenance is court-ordered in specific circumstances. However, both methods are a form of financial support from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-income spouse to help them meet their minimum reasonable needs.
For instance, during the marriage, one spouse may have chosen to become the primary caregiver and put their career on hold. Certain decisions may have impacted their ability to transition back into the workplace or earn a livable wage after the divorce.
Spousal maintenance is court-ordered on a case-by-case basis, which may include the following criteria:
- The obligor has been convicted of a family violence crime against the obligee within two years before divorce filing or while the divorce is pending.
- The marriage has lasted at least ten years, and the obligee lacks sufficient property or income to provide for their reasonable needs
- The obligee is either disabled or caring for disabled children
- The obligee lacks earning ability to provide for their minimum reasonable needs
- Whether a spouse is a sponsored immigrant
The court will assess numerous factors to decide if a spouse lacks earning ability to provide for their own reasonable needs, which may include looking into financial resources, education, and employment skills, as well as other relevant factors.
Duration of Spousal Support Awards
Spousal support and maintenance do not last indefinitely in Texas. Depending on the length of the marriage, it may last the following duration:
- Five-year spousal maintenance applies if the marriage lasted more than 10 but less than 20 years or if the marriage lasted less than 10 years but there was a family violence conviction.
- Seven-year spousal maintenance applies if the marriage lasted for at least 20 but less than 30 years.
- Ten-year spousal maintenance applies if the marriage lasted longer than 30 years.
When you work with an experienced Kingwood spousal support and maintenance lawyer, you can rest assured that your legal rights are protected. We know how to handle highly contentious areas of divorce proceedings and will fight aggressively for the best possible outcome.
While there is no formula on how much spousal maintenance a court will award, the law states that the court cannot require the obligor to pay more than $5,000 or 20% of their gross monthly income.
When Can Spousal Support Be Modified?
Spousal support and maintenance may be modified in the event of a significant change in life circumstances by either spouse. The court may reduce or terminate payments entirely if the obligor’s income decreases substantially or a medical emergency or some other sudden event changes the financial situation. However, suppose the obligee can prove that their financial needs have significantly increased or that the obligor’s income has greatly increased. In that case, the court may modify the order to pay more.
Contact the Highly Experienced Kingwood Spousal Support Lawyers at Moffett Law Firm
Many couples wonder if spousal support will become a facet of their divorce and how much the agreement will entail. A Kingwood spousal support attorney from Moffett Law Firm is here to help you determine and agree on spousal maintenance.