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 important to ensure each spouse can continue living as they choose. When a married couple separates, the high-earning party often pays support to the other party. These support payments can continue either temporarily or permanently.
Courts consider several different factors when making decisions regarding spousal support. Therefore, having a competent team of attorneys to represent you is critical in these matters. The team at the Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. thoroughly understands Texas law, so you can trust us to provide stellar representation.
How to Qualify for Spousal Support
A court can order one spouse to pay spousal support to another under certain circumstances. It might do so if the spouse seeking support cannot adequately provide for themselves and one of the following applies:
- One spouse is found guilty of committing domestic violence against the other or their child.
- One spouse cannot financially support themselves due to a physical or mental disability.
- The marriage lasted ten years or longer, and the spouse seeking support cannot 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 disability.
Unless the court finds a history of domestic violence, it will begin with a presumption against an order for spousal maintenance. This means the court will assume spousal support is not necessary until proven otherwise. The spouse seeking support must prove they sincerely try to find a job or other ways to meet their needs before seeking support.
If the court finds that spousal support is appropriate, the next step is determining the necessary amount of support. The judge will consider each spouse’s contributions to the other during the marriage. This includes financial contributions and payments for 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 percent of the paying spouse’s average monthly income, whichever is lesser.
How long the marriage lasted determines the duration of the support. But if circumstances such as a disability exist, the spouse paying support might have to pay for as long as the condition exists.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve answered a few frequently asked questions about spousal support below for your convenience. If you don’t see your question or the answer doesn’t fully address your concerns, contact us immediately at (210) 349-9933.
How is spousal support determined?
There are many factors to take into consideration when determining spousal support. One of the first and biggest factors is how much each individual earns. Usually, 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 into working life. These spouses may get stipends to maintain their quality of life until they find a job or remarry. A judge will determine the exact month-to-month price of the spouse’s expected quality of life. To do so, they’ll look at factors like the length of the marriage, children in common, and the lower-income spouse’s job prospects.
What should I do if my spouse disagrees that I need support payments?
It is the judge’s responsibility to determine whether you or your spouse deserve spousal support. For this reason, you should hire good representation to argue your case.
Attorneys often argue for support based on the following factors:
- 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 to speak with an attorney as soon as possible so they can start building a case demonstrating why you deserve alimony from your ex.
Why do I need an attorney?
Many factors go into determining whether each spouse deserves financial support and, if so, how much. You need someone in your corner who can argue on your behalf and demand meaningful results. Your chances of getting reasonable alimony increase greatly when you hire an experienced lawyer. The sooner you contact Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., the more time we’ll have to review the particulars of your situation 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 separating parties have children, the divorce shouldn’t leave one party with a lower quality of life. Call us today at (210) 349-9933 to discuss the specifics of your situation and evaluate whether you qualify for support.