Getting a divorce is difficult enough as it is without having concerns about being able to afford to live on your own after a divorce. If you are a stay-at-home parent, golden years divorcer, or just a person who is concerned about making sure that they can make ends meet after a divorce then today’s blog post is for you. I would like to share with you my thoughts on alimony in Texas. The reality of the situation is that it is possible to put yourself in a position that is advantageous for you in terms of your income. Whether you have stayed at home to raise children, are disabled, or are an older person getting a divorce that does not mean that you are going to be thrown to the wolves in terms of you were life after divorce. Rather, you just have to be aware of the realities of life after divorce and what alimony can cover X far as your expenses. Additionally, we need to discuss whether or not you are even eligible to receive any kind of post-divorce alimony.
Fortunately, the state of Texas has very straightforward guidelines when it comes to paying out spousal support app divorce dirt. If you are going through a divorce currently and are trying to negotiate for alimony in your case then understanding these issues and whether or not you even qualify for alimony is essential. How much alimony you would stand to receive, how long the alimony could be paid for and a host of other questions are all relevant to your life at this time. What you need to do is position yourself to be able to learn this information sooner rather than later.
In my opinion, the most direct way to be able to do this is to hire an experienced family law attorney to help guide you through this case. While you can get a divorce without a lawyer I would not recommend doing so because of the risk involved. If you are concerned enough about making ends meet after your divorce that you would want alimony then you should want to do everything you can to ensure that the alimony is paid to you. The best way to ensure proper payment of alimony as well as an order that is enforceable regarding alimony would be to hire an experienced family law attorney. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video.
What exactly is alimony?
In Texas, alimony is also referred to as post-divorce spousal support or spousal maintenance. During a divorce temporary spousal support is oftentimes paid from one spouse to another to ensure that the receiving spouse can make ends meet, pay bills, and attention to the necessities of life while the parties adjust to living on their own. If this describes you then you should know that requesting temporary spousal support during a Divorce is not out of the ordinary. Judges are typically more willing to award temporary spousal support than longer-lasting support.
This is even true when it comes to spousal support or alimony after the divorce comes to an end. It is understandable if you are a person who is going through a divorce that has not worked in many years and has a concern over making ends meet immediately after the divorce comes to an end. For that reason, you may wish to request that alimony be paid for approximately six months after your divorce. This would allow you to get on your feet after a divorce while you adjust to life as a single person or complete a college degree or vocational training after the divorce comes to an end.
When you talk about alimony on a more permanent basis after your divorce we are considering situations where you have external circumstances that weigh on you in terms of being able to go out into the workforce. For instance, if you are disabled then you may not be able to care for yourself without assistance from another person. In that case, permanent alimony may be justified. Additionally, what many people do that now is that having a disabled child may entitle you to spousal support permanently. If you are caring for I disabled child then Your options are probably limited when it comes to being able to enter the workforce. As a result, spousal maintenance or alimony may be something that can assist you with bridging the income gap.
Are you qualified to receive alimony in Texas?
In Texas, you may be able to receive forms of spousal support either if you negotiate for that in mediation or if a judge orders the payments in a trial. When payments are ordered from a child you are receiving spousal maintenance. On the other hand, when you and your spouse negotiate for spousal support after a divorce you would be receiving contractual alimony. Either type is enforceable and valid in terms of spousal support after a divorce. For you to be able to receive spousal maintenance you and your spouse must have been married for at least 10 years and you must display a proven need to the judge for the payments to be ordered.
One circumstance to bear in mind is that if you have been the victim of domestic abuse or family violence in the two years preceding your divorce then you may be eligible for spousal maintenance even if you and your spouse have not been married for 10 years or more. Hopefully, this is not a circumstance that is related to you but you should discuss this with your attorney to find out what you may be eligible for. You do not want to put yourself in a position where you are letting benefits slip through your fingers because you did not know what was available to you. The best way to be guided through and educated about divorce is by having an experienced family law attorney assist you in your divorce.
What factors will a court consider Wanda terming whether alimony payments are necessary?
I want to come still weighing the factors relevant to awarding alimony, understand that each judge will likely way the factors that are relevant in different ways. Not only will the circumstances of your marriage be relevant but those that have contributed to your divorce will also be considered closely by a judge. From what I can tell and based on my experience, most family court judges in Texas enter a case with the belief that spousal support or maintenance is not justified. The burden would be on you and your attorney to prove that the financial circumstances are justified.
One issue that we have not discussed yet is that alimony or spousal support can be ordered if you lack sufficient property to provide for your minimum mum’s basic needs after the divorce. If the separate property you own as well as your share of the community estate cannot be utilized to pay for your living expenses after a divorce then you may be able to get spousal maintenance ordered as a result of your trial. On the other hand, you would need to be able to show your spouse that it is likely a judge would rule in your favor on this subject to negotiate for contractual alimony in a mediation session.
Is there a time limit as to how long alimony can be paid for?
Many states in EU S allow for alimony payments to be made indefinitely. This means that a court can order your spouse to pay you alimony after the divorce without putting a specific time limit on that award. On the other hand, the state of Texas does not handle the subject of palimony and special maintenance in the same way. Rather, Texas family court judges will apply specific lengths of time as to how long spousal maintenance or alimony can be paid. Typically, the longer that you were married to your spouse means up the longer dispersal maintenance or alimony can be paid. Bear in mind that 10 years is the minimal length of a marriage that can be considered in terms of having spousal maintenance paid.
Spousal maintenance Kimi paid for five years if your marriage lasted less than 10 years but you were shown to be a victim of family violence and the two years. Preceding the divorce. Again, five years would be the length of time that spousal maintenance could be ordered if your marriage were to have lasted from 10 to 20 years. The relevant period for spousal maintenance and alimony increases to seven years if you and your spouse were married for between 20 and 30 years. Finally, you are award for spousal maintenance could be 10 years in length if you and your spouse were married together for 30 years or more.
Whatever the court ultimately rules on in your case adjudges operated to pay spousal maintenance out in the shortest period that you would need to be able to earn an income that is sufficient to help you meet your minimal, basic needs. This means that absent a physical or mental disability you will need to find a job. An exception to this rule would be if you were to be the day-to-day caretaker for a child with a disability. In that case, you would be hard-pressed to be able to find a job that would pay you well enough to Live on but also gives you the flexibility to care for your child.
What causes alimony payments to come to an end?
As with many things in life, some circumstances can come into play that would end your ability to receive contractual alimony or spousal maintenance after your divorce. First off, your ex pass could pass away. For this reason, I have seen spouses negotiate for A life insurance policy to be taken out that would list the one spouse as a beneficiary in the event the paying spouse were to pass away.
Another circumstance that could lead to you’re no longer being eligible to receive spousal maintenance or contractual alimony would be if you were to remarry. The thought process here is that your new spouse must provide for you financially and that duty would supersede the duty of your spouse to pay you contractual alimony or spousal maintenance. However, it would be unlikely that you would not get married two to your receiving contractual alimony or spousal maintenance.
One of the circumstances that I think would be most common as to how spousal maintenance or contractual alimony may no longer be paid to you would be if you were to start cohabitating with a person that you are in a romantic relationship with. We know that cohabitating with someone you are not married to has become much more common in recent years. However, it would also seem that this is something that could be Hidden or otherwise shielded from lack of evidence. It would be difficult to be able to prove the cohabitation on an extended basis with this person.
What if you are in line to pay alimony? How can you avoid it?
Let’s put the shoe on the other foot. If you are attempting to avoid having to pay contractual alimony or spousal maintenance after your divorce then that would be understandable. The idea of getting divorced remove a spouse but still having to pay him or her a specific sum of money each month can be a stressful proposition. However, there are few ways that you may be able to avoid having to pay spousal maintenance.
One thing that you could do is simply earn less money each month. If you do not have the money to pay spousal maintenance then a judge cannot continue to order that you do so. You could accept a new job that pays you less money in exchange for not paying special maintenance or contractual alimony. This would require that you scale back your lifestyle and live on less than you make.
However, this would be one thing you could do if you absolutely no longer wanted to pay contractual alimony or spousal maintenance. If you could also work to show the court that you’re exposed no longer requires the spousal maintenance or contractual alimony to meet their minimal basic needs each month. However, this is probably a more effective tool for you to employ during the divorce than after the divorce. Showing that your spouse has the separate property that can be sold, separate investments that perhaps the court had not been aware of previously, or going through their budget and showing where items can be reasonably cut Woodall be ways for you to avoid paying alimony.
Finally, you could simply do the math and get divorced from your spouse earlier than 10 years. This is they fairly cynical way to look at marriage but it would do the trick as far as putting your spouse in a position where he or she would not be eligible to receive spousal maintenance. Unless one of the exceptions listed previously comes into play, you and your spouse needed to have been married for at least 10 years before the divorce for there to be eligible to receive spousal maintenance. Get a divorce earlier than that and then your spouse would be in a position where he or she may not be able to argue successfully that they are eligible to receive these types of benefits.
Preparation is key when it comes to alimony
Whether you are attempting to win alimony for yourself or trying to prevent your spouse from being awarded alimony after a divorce you need to be able to have a plan in place. We have seen that there is a range of ways for you to avoid paying alimony. However, if your spouse has a plan that’s better than yours you may be on the hook for paying alimony when there is no need. Additionally, circumstances may come into play where you may be on the hook for paying alimony for a longer period than need be as well. To combat this type of situation it is recommended that you have an attorney to represent you.
Finally, if your well-being depends on having spousal maintenance after a divorce you should have an attorney to advocate for you. Your ability to pay bills, feed yourself and your children and even have a roof over your head may depend upon these payments.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the materials contained in today’s blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn about the world of Texas family law but also about how your family may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.