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Spousal Maintenance Awards

Posted on in Spousal Support

Texas high asset attorney, Texas alimony lawyerAside from custody issues, one of the most contested matters in a divorce proceeding is property division. As part of determining which party will be granted ownership of certain assets, courts often take into account whether one spouse will be required to provide the other spouse with periodic maintenance payments. Determining whether a spousal support award is appropriate can be a difficult matter to resolve and can also have serious financial repercussions for all parties, so if you are considering filing for divorce and have questions about how your marital property will be divided or whether you will be eligible to receive spousal support, please contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help explain your legal options.

Establishing Eligibility

A party can only obtain spousal support if he or she can satisfy specific eligibility requirements. For instance, a party requesting support must provide evidence that he or she lacks sufficient assets to provide for his or her reasonable minimum needs and:

  • The other party was convicted of or received a deferred adjudication for committing an act of domestic violence within the last two years;
  • The spouse seeking support is unable to earn sufficient income because of a physical or mental disability;
  • The couple was married for over 10 years; or
  • The requesting party has primary custody of the couple’s child who requires substantial care because of a physical or mental disability.

In Texas, courts generally presume that spousal support should not be granted if the party requesting alimony has not attempted to:

  • Earn sufficient income to provide for his or her needs; or
  • Develop the necessary skills required to provide for his or her needs during the separation period or while a suit for dissolution of the marriage is pending.

Determining Spousal Support Awards

If a party is able to establish that he or she is eligible to receive spousal support, the court must then determine the amount, duration, and manner of payments. In doing so, the court may look to a series of factors, including:

  • Each party’s ability to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs independently after the divorce;
  • The education and employment skills of each party;
  • The time, availability, and feasibility of obtaining the necessary education or training that would enable the spouse requesting support to earn sufficient income;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The age, employment record, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse requesting support;
  • The effect on each party’s ability to provide for his or her own reasonable needs while also providing spousal support;
  • Whether the actions of either spouse resulted in excessive concealment, fraudulent disposition, or spending of marital assets;
  • The contribution of one party to the education, training, or earning power of the other spouse during the marriage;
  • The separate property brought to the marriage by either party;
  • Whether one spouse was a homemaker;
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence; and
  • Any marital misconduct committed by the parties, including adultery and cruel conduct.

One of the most stressful aspects of divorce is determining whether the parties will be able to support themselves financially once the separation is finalized, so if you are considering filing for divorce and you have questions about spousal support, please contact an aggressive Round Rock high asset divorce attorney at The Law Offices of William D. Powers at 512-610-6199 and we will assist you in scheduling a consultation.

Source:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.8.htm

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