Has a divorce left you unable to afford the standard of living you’re used to? Are you now a single parent who has to support the entire household? Rent, gas, groceries, doctor fees, school supplies and other needs can add up quickly! Call The Báez Law Firm for help today! Our spousal maintenance attorneys will help you get the support you need and deserve.
What is spousal maintenance?
Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is a claim for the financial support of a spouse by the other spouse. Spousal support may be requested on a temporary or permanent base. The parties may also agree to provide for the monthly support of one spouse or it may be ordered by the court.
When can a party request spousal maintenance?
A claim for spousal maintenance usually arises during the dissolution of a marriage (divorce). However, a claim for spousal maintenance may also be brought as a separate suit after a Final Decree of Divorce has been signed and entered by the court.
What is the purpose of spousal maintenance?
The purpose of spousal maintenance is to provide temporary support for a spouse during or after the dissolution of a marriage. Spousal maintenance can also protect disabled spouses, spouses who care for disabled children, spouses who were homemakers and spouses who are affected by family violence.
How can I obtain spousal maintenance?
In order to qualify to receive spousal maintenance, you must show three things:
- You are the spouse of the potential obligor
- You lack sufficient property to provide for your minimum reasonable needs and
- You have been married for at least 10 years, can prove that your spouse has been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for committing an act of family violence, you are physically or mentally disabled, or you care for a child of the marriage who is physically or mentally disabled.
Calculating spousal maintenance:
When calculating the amount to award, the court must determine the minimum reasonable need of the requesting spouse, taking into account each spouse’s income and monetary resources available to them. The court may also consider, among other things:
- Child support payments
- The separate property of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- Fault in the breakup of the marriage
- Fraud on the community
The awarded amount cannot exceed $5,000 or 20 percent of the obligor’s monthly gross income.
How long can I receive spousal maintenance?
Generally, spousal maintenance should be paid for the shortest reasonable time, but cannot exceed the following:
- Award due to family violence and the marriage was less than 10 years- no more than five years
- Married between 10 and 20 years – no more than five years
- Married between 20 and 30 years – no more than seven years
- Married more than 30 years – no more than 10 years
Under Texas law, the court may sign or authorize the issuance of a withholding order for spousal maintenance payments. Under a withholding order, the employer of the obligor is required to automatically withhold a portion of the obligor’s paycheck to cover their support obligations.
If you have any questions regarding your rights to receive spousal maintenance or you wish to fight a spouse requesting spousal maintenance call the attorneys at The Báez Law Firm. We can help you make the right decisions for you and your family. Contact our law firm today for more information! 210-979-9777