Spousal support—which is commonly known as “alimony” or “maintenance” in some parts of the country—is a form of financial payment made by one former spouse to another. These payments are intended for individuals who are no longer able to rely on the financial support of their spouse due to the dissolution of their marriage.
If you are dealing with a spousal support conflict, a dedicated family law attorney might be able to help. Disputes of this kind can be heated, but a loyal family attorney could work to resolve the issue in a favorable way. Learn more about your legal options by speaking with a Wells Branch spousal support lawyer at Angela Faye Brown & Associates.
The courts will not automatically award spousal support in every divorce case. That said, either spouse has the right to request spousal support during the course of the divorce proceedings. A Wells Branch lawyer could advise on whether spousal support is likely according to the guidelines set out by state law.
While either spouse can request support, most will not qualify. In order to qualify, a person must be unable to pay for their own basic needs without support from their former spouse. Additionally, they must meet one of four additional elements:
First, a spouse could be entitled to support if they are the victim of domestic violence. In this situation, the supporting spouse must have been previously convicted of family violence against their spouse or children. This conviction must have occurred within two years of the divorce filing or during the course of the proceeding.
Second, a spouse might qualify if they are unable to provide for themselves due to a disability. This inability to be self-supporting could be from mental or physical conditions.
Third, the length of a marriage could qualify a spouse to support. Financial support could be available to a spouse that is unable to meet their own needs if their marriage lasted at least ten years.
Finally, there is a specific exception that applies to former spouses that are the custodial parents of special-needs children. If caring for that child prevents the parent from earning a living, they could be entitled to spousal support.
There are various factors that the court will use to determine if a support award is necessary. With the help of a Wells Branch attorney, it could be possible to make a case for or against spousal support.
It can be somewhat difficult to secure an award for spousal support under Texas state law. This is because the law presumes that support is unnecessary. Of course, it is possible to rebut this presumption and secure an award. To do so, a spouse must prove they have made a good faith effort to earn a living or secure an education that will provide for them. If they can establish this fact and show they still need support, they may then qualify. When a court determines the appropriate amount of support to award, they consider:
Spousal support is never guaranteed in Wells Branch. However, the right attorney could make the case that an award is appropriate.