Handling All Spousal Support Legal Issues in Houston, TX
When you go through the divorce process, you and your spouse might need to discuss the option of spousal support. In many divorce cases, this is an area where couples disagree. One spouse may believe they should get support. The other spouse may believe strongly that they should not have to pay support. When this occurs, major conflicts can arise. In fact, spousal support is one of the most highly contested areas of the divorce process. Learning about spousal support is key to determining how it may fit into your divorce agreement.
At Roger G. Jain & Associates, P.C., our Houston spousal support lawyers know that divorce is difficult, and family matters are complex. Determining how to divide assets, how to parent children, and how to navigate financially on your own is scary. It is important to carefully calculate spousal support so that your needs are being met after the divorce is finalized. Too little support and you may struggle financially. Too much support and your ex may be unable to meet their obligations. Our lawyers have over 20 years of experience helping our Houston clients achieve their divorce goals. We know how to build a case to help protect your rights and your assets every step of the way.
What is Spousal Support?
You may have heard spousal support called several different names, such as spousal maintenance or alimony. In essence, it is a form of financial support given by the higher earner to the lower-income earner to help them maintain a lifestyle after the divorce.
In theory, this support was given because many couples made decisions and sacrifices together during the marriage. Perhaps one spouse worked while the other went back to school or advanced their degree. One spouse may have quit a high paying job to care for an elderly relative or young children. These decisions may have set them back on their career trajectory. As such, they may earn less or need help transitioning into the workplace.
How Does Spousal Support Apply in Texas?
Texas courts take many things into consideration when determining spousal support. Some of those factors include, but are not limited to:
- Any domestic violence in the home
- The income of both parties
- The ability of both parties to financially support themselves
- Mental or physical disabilities
- The care required for a disabled child
- Both spouse’s education and employment skills
- How long the marriage lasted
- Any property each spouse brought into the marriage
- Marital misconduct such as abuse
- The employment history of each spouse
It is important to know that spousal support does not last forever. In Texas, it can last between five and ten years depending on the length of the marriage. In some cases, spousal support may not even apply.
In general, the guidelines for spousal support in Houston are as followed:
- Five years – if the marriage lasted less than 10 years but there was a conviction of family violence.
- Five years – if the marriage lasted longer than 10 years but less than 20.
- Seven years – if the marriage lasted for at least 20 years but no more than 30.
- Ten years – if the marriage lasted for longer than 30 years.
It is also important to know that as of January 1, 2019, spousal support is not deemed income for the supported spouse. It is also not a tax deduction for the paying spouse.
We Can Help Modify Spousal Support Agreements
Either spouse can petition the courts to modify an existing spousal support agreement. This is typically done when one of the parties experiences a major life change, such as a re-marriage or a higher earning job. When the payer loses their job, they need to request a modification of support so that they do not face legal consequences for failing to make payments.
At Roger G. Jain & Associates, P.C., our Houston spousal support attorneys know that spousal support decisions are difficult and often come down to the case you are able to build. We know how to gather the necessary documents and evidence needed to win your support modification case. Our experience handling a wide variety of Houston spousal support cases enables us to provide exceptional legal guidance every step of the way.
Contact Our Houston Spousal Support Attorneys
Divorcing spouses rarely agree on spousal support amounts. This is one of the most contentious and highly contested areas of the divorce. That is why you need a law firm on your side that can fight aggressively for your rights during the divorce process. At Roger G. Jain & Associates, P.C., we can help answer your spousal support questions. We can also enforce or modify existing spousal support documents when life changes.
To learn more, call us at (713) 981-0600 or fill out our confidential contact form. We offer complete family law guidance to divorcing couples in Houston and throughout Harris County. We know the pitfalls associated with most divorce cases and we work tirelessly to help you avoid them, so you can move forward into your future quickly and easily.