Alimony Attorney in Dallas
Financial discussions during divorce can be difficult. A spouse that has less income than the other, lacks a college degree, or has been out of the workforce raising children and may be facing a challenging job market often requests alimony. That spouse may feel as though the sacrifice they made for the family is deserving of compensation. In cases like these it is not uncommon for them to request alimony.
Alimony, which is called spousal support in Texas, is separate from property division and child support. It means one spouse pays the other temporarily from future income to support the ex-spouse after the divorce. For the spouse contemplating paying alimony, it can be overwhelming to think about supporting the ex-spouse over and above child support and the divorce settlement.
Texas law tends to favor the breadwinner in most divorce proceedings involving requests for post-divorce, court-ordered alimony. That does not mean, however, that alimony cannot be obtained by the lesser-earning spouse. Whether you are the spouse who is seeking alimony or the one who will likely be required to pay, it is important that you seek the advice of a reliable lawyer who can properly handle your case.
The attorneys at Verner Brumley Mueller Parker PC are experienced in representing clients on both sides of alimony conflicts. Our team will employ effective, tested methods for the most favorable outcome possible for your case.
How Long is a Spousal Support Order in Texas?
In circumstances where the court does order one spouse to pay alimony to the other, certain parameters will apply in regards to how long the order will last:
- If the marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years OR the marriage lasted less than 10 years, but order is due to family violence, spousal support will not last for longer than 5 years
- If the marriage lasted between 20 and 30 years, spousal support will be capped at 7 years
- If the marriage lasted longer than 30 years, spousal support will be capped at 10 years
Indefinite alimony may be required if one spouse or child has a permanent mental or physical disability that requires ongoing care.
Pursuing All Available Options in Your Alimony Case
In a majority of cases, Texas family court judges are unlikely to award maintenance unless there is a significant disparity between the spouses’ incomes or earning potential, although there are other factors and basis the court can consider in determining a spouse’s eligibility to receive maintenance, including but not limited to the well-being of a child who requires substantial care and personal supervision, which prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs. In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, the issue of alimony is frequently addressed as part of the marital property settlement. In addition to court-ordered maintenance, the availability of contractual alimony is also another option that can be explored.
We have been successful at negotiating fair alimony settlements that both spouses can support, including monthly payments for a set duration and lump sum payments. In every case, our only concern is that the settlement supports the best interests of our client.