Rockport Alimony Lawyer Providing Answers to Clients Dealing With Alimony and Spousal Maintenance Matters
There is no denying that a divorce can be a life-altering experience and impact a family in many ways. Besides creating a lot of negative emotions, a divorce can take a toll on one’s finances, especially when they dedicate themselves to staying home and raising their children while the other spouse provides all of the income for the home. When a spouse is unable to support themselves during and after a divorce, requesting spousal maintenance or alimony payments may be a feasible option. Learn how spousal maintenance works in Texas and why working with an alimony and maintenance attorney is the right choice for you.
How Does Alimony Work in Texas?
Alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance in Texas. Spousal maintenance payments are made by one spouse for the benefit of the other spouse and can be ordered by a judge during or after a divorce. The party requesting to receive spousal maintenance is expected to effectively demonstrate that spousal maintenance payments are essential for them to be able to cover their basic living expenses as they are unable to generate their own income.
In general terms, Texas courts may take a more cautious approach to granting spousal maintenance payments as they understand that the equal division of marital assets after the divorce may provide the means for both spouses to survive financially, so the party seeking maintenance payments must really prove their case, and working with a Rockport alimony and maintenance lawyer is a fundamental step at this stage.
The spousal maintenance court order typically contains important information such as the amount to be paid as maintenance and the frequency, as well as how long the payments will continue. Once the order is finalized, any changes must be authorized by the court through a modification request.
Are Spousal Maintenance and Spousal Support the Same Thing?
You may have heard the terms alimony, spousal maintenance, and spousal support mentioned in different contexts, and it can sometimes become difficult to understand what each term actually refers to. In Texas, spousal maintenance (or just maintenance) payments are the equivalent of what is called alimony in other states. These are court-ordered payments from one spouse to the other. It may begin during the divorce or after the divorce is finalized and will continue for a set period of time described in the court order and cannot be modified or stopped without the consent of the court that originally issued the maintenance order.
In comparison, spousal support payments (or contractual alimony) are typically the result of a mutual agreement between the two parties in a divorce. These are usually voluntary payments that are decided as a part of a divorce, and the amount and duration can be decided by the spouses. However, once both parties sign a spousal support contract, the payments become a contractual obligation. In other words, spousal support payments are simply meant to provide the receiving spouse with short-term financial help until they are able to earn a living on their own.
Who Can Receive Spousal Maintenance in Texas
Spousal maintenance orders are usually only awarded to those who have effectively demonstrated that the payments are crucial for them to be able to pay for basic living necessities such as housing, food, clothing, and transportation. These individuals have strong motives that have kept them from seeking employment or making their own income and spent the majority of the marriage relying solely on their spouse’s salary to make ends meet.
Situations in which a court may grant spousal maintenance payments include when the person requesting the payments is disabled or is the caretaker of a disabled child that requires full attention and thus makes it hard for that caretaker to work outside the home. Another circumstance that may allow for spousal maintenance payments is when the other spouse has been convicted of domestic violence against the other spouse or their children.
Spousal maintenance payments may also be granted to a spouse who can prove they do not have the ability, education, training, or job skills to make a living on their own – although in this case, the court may require the spouse receiving the payments to demonstrate that they are making an effort to learn a marketable skill or gain employment after receiving payments for a certain amount of time.
What Can a Rockport Alimony and Maintenance Lawyer Do For Me?
Receiving alimony payments in Texas is not as easy as it may be in other states, and those seeking alimony or spousal maintenance payments during or after a divorce may have slim chances of succeeding without the help of a skilled Rockport alimony and maintenance lawyer. By working with an attorney, you can feel more confident moving forward and taking the steps necessary to secure a positive outcome.
A knowledgeable attorney can remove obstacles and help you build a strong case so you can convince the court that you need to receive maintenance payments in order to get back on your feet and move on with your life after the divorce. If you have questions about spousal maintenance or are facing a complicated situation that requires the legal help of a Rockport alimony and maintenance lawyer, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy. Call (361) 203-7097 to talk to the legal team at our Rockport, TX office and request a consultation to discuss your case and get the answers you need.