Experienced Denton Spousal Support and Divorce Lawyer Helping Clients with Legal Matters
At my Denton County law firm, I closely follow changes in legislation pertaining to family law matters, and I can explain how the law applies to your divorce and spousal support/maintenance claim.
The issue of spousal support and maintenance in Denton, often referred to as alimony, is one of the primary issues that must be resolved before a divorce can be finalized (the other major issues include property division, child custody matters, and child support).
Texas law and the courts do not provide a strict mathematical formula that must be applied when crafting and resolving spousal support calculations. Rather, the parties and the court must take into consideration a number of factors, some of which are subjective in nature.
Additionally, this is one issue that often elicits very strong opinions from one or both parties regarding what is “fair” and/or what is “deserved.”
Resolving Spousal Support Matters in North Texas: The Importance of Legal Counsel
Whether you seek to obtain support, or if your goal is to oppose the issuance of a support obligation, it is critically important to hire an experienced divorce attorney in North Texas knowledgeable in the intricate nuances of Texas spousal support.
As a local attorney handling spousal support/maintenance in Denton County, I am familiar with the courts and judges throughout North Texas, and I can help you understand what to expect as you move through the divorce process. I have experience successfully representing people on both sides of this complex issue.
Is Spousal Support Commonly Ordered By the Court?
It is common in Texas for one spouse to pay temporary spousal support to the other spouse during the pendency of a divorce (in order to pay current bills and expenses, and to maintain the existing state of the parties’ living situation). However, it is important to note that spousal support will not be ordered once the divorce is finalized; however, an award of spousal maintenance may be awarded.
Depending on the duration of the marriage as well as other factors, spousal maintenance may be awarded for a period of up to five, seven, or 10 years.
The party who seeks spousal maintenance must aptly demonstrate that he or she lacks the financial ability to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs, and has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer; or is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs. Also, if the spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted or received deferred adjudication for family violence against the other spouse or the other spouse’s child and the offense occurred within two years before the divorce is filed or happened during the divorce, the spouse seeking maintenance may be entitled to an award.
If Spousal Maintenance is Not Determined By a Formula, How Is It Calculated?
In determining whether an award of Denton spousal support is suitable (including the amount and duration), the court will assess a number of factors, including the following:
- Each spouse’s financial resources
- The education and job skills of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- The age, health, employment history, and earning ability of the spouse seeking maintenance
- Contributions by one spouse to the education or earning capacity of the other (for example, one spouse’s payment of the other spouse’s dental school tuition and/or all related living expenses incurred during that time period)
- Martial misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment, by either spouse during the marriage
- Any history of family violence
- The property brought to the marriage by either spouse
- Contributions of a spouse to maintaining the home and caring for the children
Modifications of Existing Spousal Maintenance Orders
Similar to child support orders, a party may petition the court to modify an existing spousal maintenance order based on a substantial change in circumstances. This may be in the form of a loss of employment.
Additionally, because spousal maintenance is by its nature meant to assist the other party, the payor may be able to seek termination of the order based on the payee’s remarriage or cohabitation. This caveat is usually addressed in the initial agreement or court order regarding spousal support.
Do You Need Trusted Legal Assistance Regarding A Spousal Support Matter in Denton? Contact Gregory C. Goline, Attorney at Law
Whether you and your spouse agree or disagree on the complex matter of support or maintenance, I can guide you through the process and look out for your best interests.
I pledge to provide you with an honest assessment of your current situation and what you can expect going forward. I will work diligently and tirelessly to help you resolve any spousal support issues you may face.
Contact me today to schedule your complimentary consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Denton County serving all of North Texas. Credit cards accepted, and payment plans may be available.