THE WOODLANDS SPOUSAL SUPPORT ATTORNEY
Facing divorce is never easy, and contentious disagreements over spousal support can make the process even more complicated. Spousal support refers to the financial aid paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce. Post-divorce spousal support is more commonly referred to a spousal maintenance. The laws surrounding spousal support and spousal maintenance are complex, and many divorcing couples question how payments are decided. Whether seeking spousal maintenance or being asked to pay it, having a highly qualified attorney in your corner is crucial.
At Moffett Law Firm, our The Woodlands spousal support lawyers dedicate themselves to helping you preserve your financial future. We are well-versed in resolving high-conflict disagreements and are ready to fight for your interests. Our attorneys have over three decades of combined experience advocating aggressively for their clients in The Woodlands and the neighboring areas. When you work with us, you can trust that your case is in knowledgeable and experienced hands.
How Are Spousal Support and Spousal Maintenance Determined in Texas?
Spousal support is generally paid on a temporary basis during the pendency of the case and the amount paid is typically based on need. For example, if one party has $5,000.00 of expenses and only earns $4,000 per month, that party is in need of $1,000 in temporary spousal support to ensure he or she can maintain the status quo of things financially during the pendency of the divorce to ensure community expenses continue to be paid. Temporary Spousal support can last for a specified amount of time to allow one party to get back on his or her feet financially or it can last the duration of the case until the divorce is finalized. Spousal maintenance is post-divorce support. Spousal maintenance is also need based and governed by strict criteria from the Texas Family Code in terms of whether or not the requesting spouse qualifies for the payment of spousal maintenance, how long he or she can receive spousal maintenance and how much spousal maintenance he or she will receive. Typically, one party will request spousal maintenance to ensure they can provide for themselves after being financially dependent on their spouse. When determining spousal maintenance payments, the court will consider the following:
- The length of the marriage
- The division of assets and debts
- The economic resources and earning potential of each party
- Contributions from one spouse as a homemaker
- Whether one spouse contributed to the other’s education or career training
- Marital misconduct, including adultery or cruel treatment
- Any history of domestic violence
Regardless of whether you are seeking spousal maintenance or are concerned you may be ordered to pay, an experienced The Woodlands spousal support lawyer can help. The skilled attorneys at Moffett Law Firm take an individualized approach to every case to help ensure our client’s unique needs are addressed.
Who Is Eligible for Spousal Maintenance in The Woodlands?
While Texas does not automatically favor one spouse over another, the party seeking it must meet specific statutory requirements as stated in Texas Family Code. To be eligible for spousal maintenance, the individual must establish that they are married, not just cohabitating, and do not have enough resources to meet their minimum reasonable needs. Additionally, they must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- The marriage lasted for a specific number of years as stated in the Texas Family Code, and the obligee lacks the resources they need to provide for themselves
- The obligee lacks the earning capacity to provide for their reasonable minimum needs
- The obligee may have been the victim of domestic violence
- The obligee has a disability
- The obligee cares for a disabled dependent
- Whether a spouse is a sponsored immigrant
When determining if the spouse seeking spousal maintenance has sufficient income, the court will consider their wages, bonuses, and income from real estate or rental properties. It also falls to the court to decide the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs. An experienced divorce attorney can analyze your case to determine if you or your spouse are eligible for spousal maintenance.
Duration of Texas Spousal Maintenance Orders
Under Texas law, the court must follow strict guidelines when deciding the duration of a spousal maintenance order. If spousal maintenance were awarded due to a disability or the spouse’s custodial duties, the order would last until those conditions change. In all other cases, the court must abide by the following guidelines:
- Five years: When the marriage lasted more than ten years but less than 20 or when the marriage lasted less than ten years, and one spouse was convicted of domestic violence.
- Seven years: When the marriage lasted more than 20 years but less than 30.
- Ten years: When the marriage lasted 30 years or more.
Additionally, a spousal maintenance order may be terminated under the following circumstances:
- Either spouse dies
- The obligee remarries
- The obligee cohabitates with another romantic partner
- Upon a future court order
While either party can petition to modify the spousal maintenance order, you must abide by it until the court issues a new order. A skilled The Woodlands spousal support lawyer can help you seek a modification to reach an agreement that suits your goals and interests.
Speak to a Dedicated The Woodlands Spousal Support Lawyer at Moffett Law Firm
If you are facing a spousal maintenance dispute in The Woodlands, do not hesitate to contact our trusted attorneys. At Moffett Law Firm, our highly-qualified The Woodlands spousal support attorneys dedicate themselves to fighting for our client’s rights, interests, and financial futures. We have over 30 years of combined experience and are committed to helping you achieve a favorable outcome for your case.
When you retain our services, you can trust us to take a meticulous and tailored approach to address your unique concerns. To schedule a consultation with our team, call us at (713) 333-5800 or complete our contact form today.