Texas is one of the few states that does not award traditional alimony payments in a divorce settlement. In some cases, however, one of the parties may be able to obtain Spousal Maintenance. This money is meant to give regular financial support to a spouse who may experience financial or social hardships because of the divorce decree. A spouse may be able to receive long-term or short-term payments.
Texas courts seek to provide reasonable needs to a spouse and this is not measured by the current poverty levels but by the standard of living that was established during the marriage. You may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance under a few special conditions and these include:
Spousal maintenance must be requested at the time of the divorce. Once the divorce is final, a party cannot go back to court and ask for it. However, if spousal maintenance is ordered by the court, an individual may request an alteration in the agreement if there is a change of circumstances.
In cases where a spouse is unemployed or underemployed and needs to seek training and education so they can find appropriate employment, the spousal maintenance is usually short-term. The amount can vary and depends on various factors such as the length of the marriage, the age, physical and emotional condition of each spouse and how well the couple lived during the marriage. Often, the courts ask that a spouse be married for at least 10 years before considering spousal support.
Lump sum spousal support provides one large payment instead of smaller weekly or monthly payments. All types of alimony and spousal maintenance are tax deductible for the payer and must be claimed as income for the payee. The amounts claimed on each person's tax return must be exactly the same or this can raise a red flag at the IRS.
As an experienced Texas divorce attorney, Tom Burton offers valuable help and advice on complex issues like divorce, alimony and child custody. The professionals at Burton Law Firm in Houston, TX can answer nagging questions and provide direction in key areas. Why not call today and schedule an appointment to speak with someone at Burton Law Firm? Get the peace of mind you need before taking that next step with separation or divorce. Learn about your legal options and avoid costly mistakes. Call today.