Alimony Lawyer | Pearland, TX

Let’s face it, the outcome of a divorce will often affect the financial futures of both spouses. In many cases, a divorce can be quite unfair to the spouse who was financially dependent on the other. Such a party can request an alimony payment, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance.

At Hannah Law, our Pearland, TX alimony lawyers can help you understand your right to spousal support. Similarly, if you have been asked to pay spousal maintenance, we can help protect your rights and provide expert legal guidance to protect your financial future.

Our divorce and family law team can provide you with all the answers you need. We’ll sit down with you and help you understand the process and your legal options in a private and confidential consultation. Get in touch with us today to discuss your case.

What Is Alimony?

Pearland, TX Alimony Lawyer

Alimony is the maintenance one spouse pays to another following a divorce, as a way to cushion the recipient from the unfair financial effects of a divorce. The main goal of alimony is to help the receiving spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living despite the changes brought about by the divorce.

The eligibility criteria for alimony has been evolving for years, and now protects parties such as stay-at-home spouses who have been out of work for many years, spouses responsible for disabled children, spouses who have experienced domestic violence, and spouses with disabilities.

How Does Spousal Support Work?

According to the Texas Family Code, once the court has established that a spouse is eligible to receive alimony, it will determine the amount, nature, duration, and frequency of payment by considering several factors. These include:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The financial resources of the spouse seeking support
  • The level of education and employment skills of both spouses
  • Marital misconduct of spouse seeking alimony
  • Age, earning ability, employment history, as well as the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking alimony
  • Any acts of violence, destruction, fraud, or concealment of community property by either spouse
  • The ability of the other spouse to meet alimony payment obligations along with any applicable child support obligations
  • The comparative financial resources of both spouses
  • Nature and type of property brought to the marriage by either spouse
  • Contribution of a spouse as a homemaker
  • The efforts by the recipient spouse to pursue available employment counseling

All of these factors have to be addressed by the divorce lawyer at the alimony hearing. For instance, perhaps one spouse has full custody of children with needs that prevent them from working. Perhaps one spouse stayed at home to raise the kids, which may hinder their employability in the current workforce.

Whatever the case, our Pearland alimony attorney can thoroughly prepare a strong case on your behalf and make sure that the court understands your financial status when deciding how much maintenance you deserve.

When Can I Stop Paying Spousal Support?

Alimony Lawyer in Pearland, TX

Based on Texas family laws, spousal maintenance obligations automatically end if either party passes away, or when the recipient marries someone else or gets into an intimate relationship with another person and starts cohabitating with them. Outside of these situations, the spousal maintenance obligations are legally enforceable until the established end date or upon a review by the court.

Anyone looking to modify the alimony order before the termination date has to file a motion in court and prove their case in a subsequent hearing. This entails showing that a substantial or material change in circumstances has made the old order untenable. Getting professional representation from an experienced divorce lawyer can make all the difference here.

How is Alimony Determined?

The amount and duration of spousal support will depend on how long the couple has been married and the reason it’s being awarded. Usually, the couple should have been married for at least 10 years for the recipient spouse to be eligible for alimony. But if the court establishes that family violence occurred, it could award spousal support for up to 5 years, even if the couple was married for less than 10 years.

Apart from situations where a child or a spouse is physically or mentally disabled, the length of time the court may order support is usually determined as follows:

  • If the couple was married for 10 to 20 years: a maximum of 5 years of alimony
  • If the couple was married for 20 to 30 years: a maximum of 7 years of alimony
  • If the couple was married for 30 or more years: a maximum of 10 years of alimony

The duration of the spousal support order is limited to the shortest amount of time that the spouse seeking support can reasonably meet their needs by developing an appropriate skill or obtaining appropriate employment. The exception here is if the party’s employability is totally or substantially hindered by elements such as:

  • Physical or mental disability of the spouse or a child of the marriage
  • Duties that are part of being the custodian of an infant child
  • Other compelling hindrances to getting gainfully employed
  • What Does Alimony Pay for?

There are several types of alimony available in the Texas family court system, including temporary spousal support, contractual spousal support, and court-mandated spousal support. Each of these serves a different purpose and offers a unique benefit to the spouses involved.

Temporary spousal maintenance is paid during the divorce proceedings and usually ceases after a short duration. It’s meant to provide financial assistance to the recipient’s spouse while the divorce is ongoing.

Contractual alimony is a voluntary agreement between both parties for support. It allows the couple to create a custom post-divorce support plan that essentially suits their individual needs. This way, it offers more flexibility than court-ordered maintenance obligations.

Contact Our Pearland Alimony Lawyer to Discuss Your Case

Jeffrey Hannah & Liz Hannah | Hannah Law, PC

If you need any clarity on matters regarding alimony or are looking to draft a spousal maintenance plan, our divorce lawyers are always ready to provide legal guidance. We have helped countless clients like you negotiate spousal maintenance terms and craft well-thought-out payment plans.

Our Pearland, TX alimony lawyers are passionate about helping clients through their divorce issues. Call Hannah Law offices now at 281-262-1311 to schedule a free consultation.

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