Alimony Attorneys serving Bell, Denton, Dallas, Collin, and Tarrant Counties and the cities of Allen, Argyle, Belton, Carrollton, Colleyville, Coppell, Dallas, Denton, Denton, Flower Mound, Fort Hood, Frisco, Grapevine, Harker Heights, Irving, Keller, Killeen, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Little Elm, Mckinney, Nolanville, Plano, Prosper, Roanoke, Salado, Southlake, and The Colony.
When you and your spouse divorce, there are a number of decisions you must make that will have a long-term impact on your quality of life. One of the decisions the Texas courts generally make on behalf of those involved is whether or not one spouse must provide the other with monetary support, which is also known as alimony, spousal support, or spousal maintenance.
Texas Alimony Attorney Ensuring Your Interests Are Protected
I am a family law attorney at Ilarraza Law, P.C., in Flower Mound, TX. I have been guiding clients through Texas alimony and divorce cases since 2010. I understand the stress involved in any divorce and know that dealing with financial matters often makes the process more difficult.
Whether you are the recipient of support or must pay it, I offer compassionate counsel and tireless advocacy in guiding you through the divorce process and toward an equitable result that protects you and your family. Alimony is one of the most frequently fought-over issues in a Texas divorce. And, while courts and lawyers strive to split marital assets equitably, “equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.”
Flower Mound family lawyer assists divorcing couples with spousal support
At Ilarraza Law, P.C., I know and understand the Texas laws governing spousal support and the courts tasked with making support decisions. Whether your divorce is amicable or contentious, I strive toward a fair agreement that has your best interests in mind.
Texas divorce attorney experienced in negotiating and litigating alimony agreements
Texas family law requires judges to weigh certain factors in divorce cases to determine if alimony should be granted, how much should be awarded, and how long alimony payments should continue.
How Is Alimony Determined in Texas?
When it comes to a contested divorce – when the divorcing couple cannot reach an out-of-court settlement – one spouse may include a demand for alimony in his or her terms for the divorce. Should this occur, the judge will decide whether or not they will award alimony based on several factors. These factors include:
- Duration of the marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Division of assets and debts
- Relative income of both parties
- Reasonable needs of both parties
- Which parent will receive custody of the children
- Economic resources and earning power of each spouse
- Contributions rendered as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent
Retaining a trusted and experienced divorce attorney can help you convince the court of your need for support, thereby increasing the chance the court will order alimony. Alternatively, I can also work to convince the judge that your ex-spouse does not need spousal support or needs less than he or she asked for.
Whether you are anxious to ensure that you will receive spousal support or you are worried that you may be ordered to pay alimony, you can turn to Ilarraza Law P.C. for help.
What are the four types of alimony agreements?
In Texas, there are four types of alimony agreements:
- Temporary alimony – This type of spousal support provides support during the course of the divorce proceedings and may include attorney fees and other relevant costs.
- Rehabilitative alimony – This type of spousal maintenance provides support for a dependent spouse while they become self-reliant and may end when that spouse has found a job or completed his or her education.
- Reimbursement alimony – This type of alimony is awarded to the spouse who worked to support the family while the other spouse pursued professional training or career development. It may end or the payments may decrease once the receiving spouse has been compensated.
- Permanent alimony – This type of support is awarded to a spouse who is seriously ill or demonstrates economic need. This can be modified due to changing financial needs or other circumstances.
I take the time to evaluate your divorce case to determine which type of alimony is best for your current and future situation.
Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Spousal Support
In some cases, you may have a pre-marital agreement or even a post-marital agreement. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place that includes a provision for spousal support in the event of a divorce, then it’s not uncommon for there to be a dispute regarding the agreement.
In some situations, alimony may be dependent on the specific grounds for divorce. While, in most cases, the agreement will stand, there are certain circumstances where the terms of the agreement may not have been met. For example, if the agreement states that alimony payments will occur in the event that one spouse commits adultery or domestic abuse, then the accusation will need to be proven. In these situations, having skilled alimony lawyers in your corner can make a significant difference in your case.
Caring advocate striving for your peace of mind
At Ilarraza Law, P.C., I represent clients who are seeking alimony as well as those who will be required to pay it. My clients are often concerned about whether they are required to pay alimony if their circumstances change. Others come to me when they are not receiving spousal maintenance payments specified by the divorce agreement. I can help you present evidence to the court as to why the amount you pay should be decreased, or request that the court properly enforce the existing alimony agreement.
My goal is to ensure a fair result that protects your standard of living.
Call Ilarraza Law today at (214) 646-3253 for more information or for a free Texas family law attorney consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Spousal maintenance and contractual alimony are separate from both the division of marital property and any child support. Hiring a qualified Texas divorce law firm is your best bet for getting all the support payments you need.
If you’ve been ordered to pay alimony or if you should be receiving alimony payments and issues arise regarding the payment amount and timeframe, it’s a good idea to speak with an alimony lawyer. An experienced local Texas spousal support attorney will understand the ins and outs of spousal support laws and help you determine what the best next steps are for your situation.
Once both parties have signed a premarital agreement, they tend to hold up in court fairly well. And, while it can be quite difficult to invalidate a prenuptial agreement, it isn’t impossible. If you feel as though your premarital agreement is not fair, then seeking out qualified Texas divorce attorneys sooner than later is a must.
The Texas Family Code states that a court’s determination of spousal maintenance is separate from the division of community property.
Texas divorce law states that Texas is a community property state. This means that all income earned, and property acquired during the marriage by either spouse belongs to both spouses equally. Therefore, the courts must split all marital property equally between the divorcing couple. Similarly, all debts incurred during the marriage belong to both spouses equally. That being said, the court can divide assets and debts unequally for “just and right” purposes. The division of property generally has no bearing on spousal maintenance.
Parties paying spousal maintenance can deduct the payments from their income taxes because the amount paid is tax deductible, while parties receiving spousal maintenance must pay taxes on the payments.
If you’re considering filing for divorce, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire a family law attorney well versed in Texas divorce laws. Even if you’re going through an uncontested divorce, it’s a good idea to at least speak with Texas divorce lawyers first to make sure your rights are fully represented. Family lawyers can help guide you through mediation, property division, child custody, child support (also known as child maintenance), alimony, and everything else that accompanies filing for divorce. Their experience with the Texas Family Code and other divorce cases can be vital to ensuring a fair divorce with your best interests in mind.
The Texas family law attorneys at Ilarraza law will always support your best interests and the best interests of your children throughout and after the divorce process.
The first step if a spouse does not comply with the court order for spousal maintenance is to ask the court for enforcement. This occurs through a contempt of court proceeding. The spouse who should be receiving the spousal support can provide evidence that the spouse who should be paying is not making payments. The receiving spouse can also provide evidence that only partial payments are being made or that payments have not been made on time.
The judge then has the ability to award an income withholding order. This means that the employer of the paying spouse can withhold the ordered amount of spousal support from their paycheck. This money is then sent directly to the receiving spouse. This has proven to be an effective way to guarantee payment. However, another option is to initiate a lawsuit against the spouse who has refused to pay. Prior to filing a lawsuit, you may be able to solve the problem through mediation.
Divorce mediation uses a neutral third party to help facilitate negotiations regarding the dissolution of marriage between the divorcing parties. Mediation helps avoid costly court processes. It is still a good idea to hire a Texas divorce lawyer even if you choose the mediation route. A qualified Texas family law attorney will help make sure your requests are represented and your rights are protected.
The court will generally order 20 percent of the supporting spouse’s monthly gross income or $5,000 per month, whichever is less.
Some divorcing couples may negotiate contractual alimony into their prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, or divorce agreements. This type of contractual alimony doesn’t have the same restrictions as court-ordered alimony.
Any spouse seeking maintenance in Texas must show at least one of the following before a court will consider ordering alimony:
- They are unable to financially self-support due to a disability
- They are the custodian of a disabled child
- The marriage lasted for at least 10 years and the requesting spouse lacks the ability to earn sufficient income
Spouses seeking maintenance payments must also prove that they’ve tried to make an effort to secure income and support themselves. At that point, the court will then consider the following factors to decide on the amount and duration of the support:
- Ability of both spouses to pay support
- Skills and education of both spouses
- If one spouse contributed to the education of the other
- If one spouse contributed property to the marriage
- If one spouse contributed homemaking services to the marriage
- Duration of the marriage
- Age, health, and earning ability of the requesting spouse
- Any bad acts by either party such as adulteryor wasting community property