Alimony Lawyer | Friendswood, TX

Divorce is a complex process that involves numerous emotional and financial considerations. One of the key concerns for many going through a separation is spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance. However, it can be especially daunting, making it important to understand what it entails, how it is determined, and how long it lasts.

If you’re going through a separation or divorce in Friendswood, TX, and have concerns regarding alimony, it is advisable to seek the help of a legal professional. An alimony lawyer from Hannah Law can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances and help you navigate the complexities of spousal support. Don’t hesitate to reach out by calling 281-262-1311 to ensure that your rights and financial well-being are protected.

What is Spousal Support?

Alimony Lawyer | Friendswood, TX

Commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support is the legal obligation a spouse may have to provide financial support to the other spouse following separation or divorce. It’s put in place to help provide some level of financial security for the spouse with a lower earning potential after the separation.

There are three primary purposes for spousal support:

  1. Spousal Rehabilitation– This helps a spouse who may have stayed home to raise children or forgo career advancement during the marriage to retrain or complete their education to re-enter the workforce.
  2. Maintenance– To ensure a similar standard of living for both spouses after the divorce, especially if one spouse was financially dependent on the other.
  3. Reimbursement– To compensate a spouse who made significant financial contributions to the other’s education or career advancement during the marriage.

 

Please keep in mind that spousal support isn’t automatic. Courts consider various factors to determine if it’s warranted and, if so, the amount and duration.

How to Reduce Exposure to Spousal Support

Reducing your exposure to alimony can be tricky, as it depends on an array of factors that must be carefully considered. Still, a skilled alimony lawyer can highlight several strategies to help minimize the potential financial burden:

(i) Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

A legally binding agreement put in place before or during marriage helps outline the terms of alimony, including the amount and duration. This helps provide clarity and also limits your exposure to spousal support.

(ii) Financial Independence

Another strategy is to encourage both parties to maintain financial independence throughout the marriage, which can help reduce the need for spousal support. This may entail each person maintaining their own income, savings, and assets, as well as actively participating in their career development.

(iii) Mediation or Collaborative Divorce

Alternative dispute resolution methods, like mediation or collaborative divorce, can also provide more control over the outcome and potentially lead to a more favorable alimony arrangement.

As a tip, you do not want to reduce or stop spousal support on your own, even if you are facing financial hardship. Otherwise, you may end up facing legal consequences when the ex-spouse decides to take action. Instead, seek a revised agreement or a court order with the help of a legal professional.

How is Alimony Determined?

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for determining alimony. The court considers various factors in order to arrive at a fair outcome. Some of the common considerations include:

Length of the marriage– Longer marriages tend to result in a higher likelihood and potentially a longer duration of spousal support.

Income disparity– The higher the difference in income, the more likely spousal support is to be enforced.

Health and age– A healthier and younger spouse is likely to have a better chance of re-entering the workforce, thus affecting the amount and duration of alimony.

Standard of living during the marriage– The court aims to maintain a similar standard of living for both parties, if financially feasible, after the divorce.

Child custody arrangements- If one party has primary child custody, they may face financial limitations and require support.

Earning potential of both spouses– The court considers each spouse’s education, work experience, and potential for future income.

Marital misconduct– In some situations, the court may consider infidelity or other forms of misconduct when determining alimony.

how is alimony determined in a divorce in TX

How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

Alimony is granted for a limited period, and the court determines the shortest time required for the spouse in need of support to earn enough to cover their needs. According to Section 8.054 of the Texas Family Code, the maximum period of spousal support is stipulated as follows:

  • 5 years if the marriage lasted at least 10 years
  • 7 years if the marriage lasted at least 20 years
  • 10 years if the marriage lasted at least 30 years
  • 5 years if there was a deferred adjudication or conviction for family violence
  • Indefinitely if the party is extremely disabled or looking after a disabled child

 

There is a cap of $5000 per month or 20% of the paying individual’s monthly income.

What Does Alimony Pay For?

The role of alimony is to make sure that the receiving party can maintain the same standard of living they lead during marriage. Spousal support covers several expenses, including:

(i) Daily Living Expenses

Spousal support helps cover everyday expenses like groceries, transportation, personal care, and clothing.

(ii) Housing and Utilities

It can contribute to the cost of rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, and utility bills.

(iv) Healthcare and Insurance

Alimony can assist in paying for health insurance premiums, medical expenses, and other healthcare-related costs.

(v) Education & Career Development

It can also support the individual’s efforts to pursue education and career development with the aim of helping them become self-supporting.

Hire an Alimony Lawyer in Friendswood, Texas Today!

Jeffrey Hannah & Liz Hannah | Hannah Law, PC

Understanding spousal support and taking steps to reduce exposure to it can provide numerous benefits during a divorce or separation. By knowing what spousal support entails, how to minimize its impact, how long it typically lasts, how it is determined, and what it covers, you can make informed decisions that protect your financial well-being.

Bear in mind that seeking professional legal help in Friendswood is vital to ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the process. Do not hesitate to reach out to us by calling 281-262-1311 today!

We will guide you through the complexities and help you achieve a favorable outcome.

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