San Antonio Spousal Support Attorneys
At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we understand that a divorce can mean overwhelming changes to your daily life and routine. One of the most important concerns following a divorce is how to avoid lessening either party’s quality of life. Spousal support is an important aspect of ensuring each spouse can continue living as they choose. Often, when a married couple separates, the party earning a higher income must pay support to the other party, either temporarily or permanently.
Courts consider several different factors when making decisions regarding spousal support. For that reason, it is critical to have a competent team of attorneys on your side representing you in these matters. Our team at the Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. has a thorough understanding of Texas law, so you can trust us to provide you with stellar representation.
How to Qualify for Spousal Support
A court can order one spouse to pay spousal support to another if the spouse seeking support is unable to adequately provide for themselves and if one of the following applies:
- One spouse is found guilty of committing domestic violence against the other or their child
- One spouse is unable to financially support themselves due to a physical or mental disability
- The marriage lasted ten years or longer and the spouse seeking support is unable to earn enough to provide for their basic needs
- The spouse seeking support has custody of a child from the marriage who requires special care due to a physical or mental disability
Unless the court finds a history of domestic violence, it will begin with a presumption against an order for spousal maintenance, which means the court will assume spousal support is not necessary until proven otherwise. The spouse seeking support must be able to prove that he or she has put in sincere effort to find a job and otherwise be able to care for their needs before seeking support.
If the court does find that spousal support is appropriate, the next step is to determine the amount of support that is necessary. The judge will consider the contribution each spouse made to the other, including financial resources; education level; employment skills; acts of adultery; and payments to the other’s education or employment. The amount of spousal support will vary greatly depending on these factors, but a monthly payment cannot exceed $5,000 or 20% of the paying spouse’s average monthly income, whichever is the lesser amount.
How long the marriage lasted determines the duration of the support. However, if circumstances such as a disability exist, the spouse paying support could be required to pay that support for as long as the condition exists.
Frequently Asked Questions
For your convenience, we’ve provided a few frequently asked questions about spousal support for you to look at. If you don’t see your question below or the answer doesn’t fully address your concerns, contact us at (210) 349-9933 immediately.
How is spousal support determined?
There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining spousal support. One of the first and biggest factors is the amount of money that each individual earns. In most cases, one spouse will have a considerable earning advantage over the other. Also, after a marriage of any significant length, spouses who did not work at all may have trouble reintegrating back into working life and may be given a stipend to maintain an equal quality of life until they find a job or, in Texas, when they remarry. A judge will have to determine the exact month-to-month price of the spouse’s expected quality of life, factoring in the length of the marriage, disabilities the lower-income spouse had, children you both shared, and the likelihood the lower-income spouse would be able to find a new job.
What should I do if my spouse disagrees that I need support payments?
It will ultimately end up being the responsibility of a judge to determine whether you or your spouse deserve spousal support. It’s for this reason that you should hire good representation to argue your case. Support is often argued (and supported on the basis of):
- Whether you could support yourself, without finding a new job
- The time it would take to find a new job or reach a suitable income
- Both quality of life and the duration of the marriage
- How the marriage ended
- Age, mental facilities, and physical state of each party
- Simple financial means
It’s important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible so that you can start to build a case as to why you deserve alimony from your ex.
Why do I need an attorney?
There are many factors that go into determining if and how much financial support is deserved by either spouse. You need someone in your corner who can argue for each of your points and is interested in reaching the most equitable conclusion for all parties. Your chances of successfully obtaining reasonable alimony from your ex are greatly increased when you have an experienced family law attorney on your side. The sooner you contact Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., the more time we’ll be able to look at all of the particulars of your case that we mentioned here and build a case for you. Call us as soon as possible at (210) 349-9933.
The team at the Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. is here to help you navigate through the complicated aftermath of the dissolution of a marriage. Particularly when children are involved, it is important that a divorce does not result in a low quality of life. Call us today at (210) 349-9933 so we can discuss the specifics of your case and see if you qualify for support.