Southlake Alimony Lawyer

Protecting the Rights of Alimony Recipients & Payors in Southlake, TX

If you are facing a divorce and have concerns about alimony, you are not alone. Alimony is a sensitive issue that many face during the divorce process. At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, P.C., we understand the stress and anxiety that comes along with this issue. Our Southlake alimony attorney is dedicated to helping you navigate this process and work toward a favorable outcome.

Call (817) 497-8148 or fill out our online contact form today to discuss your alimony concerns with our legal team.

Spousal Support Laws in Texas

Spousal supportcommonly referred to as alimonyin Texas is financial support paid by one spouse to the other following a divorce or separation. The purpose of spousal support is to help the lower-earning or non-earning spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living, similar to the one they enjoyed during the marriage, for a specific period or indefinitely.

In Texas, not every divorcing spouse is automatically entitled to spousal support. To be eligible, the spouse seeking support (the "payee" or "recipient") must demonstrate one of the following circumstances:

  • The spouse seeking support cannot provide for their minimum reasonable needs due to disability, lack of earning capacity, or other factors.
  • The marriage lasted for at least ten years, and the payee spouse cannot meet their minimum reasonable needs or is unable to earn enough income to do so.
  • The payee spouse is the custodian of a child with a physical or mental disability that requires substantial care, making it difficult for them to work.

The duration of spousal support in Texas can vary. It can be temporary, rehabilitative (to help the recipient spouse become self-sufficient), or indefinite, depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

The following are the factors that Texas courts consider when determining the amount and duration of spousal support:

  • Financial Resources of Each Spouse: One of the primary factors Texas courts consider is the financial situation of each spouse. This includes their income, assets, and liabilities. The court will assess the ability of the paying spouse to provide support and the financial needs of the receiving spouse. If one spouse has significantly more financial resources than the other, it may impact the amount and duration of spousal support.
  • Length of the Marriage: The duration of the marriage is another crucial factor. Texas courts often categorize marriages into short-term and long-term marriages. Short-term marriages are generally those that lasted less than ten years, while long-term marriages lasted ten years or more. Longer marriages are more likely to result in spousal support awards, especially if the recipient spouse lacks the ability to become self-supporting due to the length of time they were out of the workforce.
  • Education and Employability of the Payee Spouse: The court will consider the education, vocational skills, and employability of the spouse seeking support. If the payee spouse has a limited education or has been out of the workforce for an extended period, it may be more challenging for them to secure gainful employment. In such cases, the court may award spousal support to help the payee spouse obtain the necessary education or job training to become self-sufficient.
  • Age and Health of Both Spouses: The age and health of both spouses play a role in determining spousal support. If the payee spouse is of advanced age or has health issues that limit their ability to work, the court may be more inclined to award support. Additionally, the court may consider the paying spouse's age and health, as this can affect their ability to continue working and providing support.
  • Standard of Living During the Marriage: The court may also consider the standard of living that the spouses enjoyed during the marriage. If the paying spouse has the means to maintain a similar standard of living for both parties post-divorce, this can influence the spousal support award. The goal is often to ensure that the lower-earning spouse can continue to live reasonably close to the lifestyle they had while married.
  • Custodial Responsibilities: If one spouse has primary custody of the couple's children and caring for them would impede their ability to work, this can be a significant factor. The court may award spousal support to help the custodial parent maintain a stable environment for the children.
  • Other Relevant Factors: Texas law allows for flexibility in considering other relevant factors that may affect the spousal support award. These could include a spouse's contributions to the other's education or career advancement during the marriage, any history of family violence, or any dissipation of assets by either spouse.

Texas courts consider various factors when determining the amount and duration of spousal support, including the financial resources of each spouse, the length of the marriage, the education and employability of the payee spouse, and the age and health of both spouses.

Spousal support in Texas typically terminates upon certain events, such as the death of either spouse, remarriage of the payee spouse, or a court order. Additionally, some divorce agreements may specify termination conditions.

Spousal support orders can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a substantial increase or decrease in either spouse's income or financial needs.

FAQs About Spousal Support in Texas

Can spousal support be modified in Texas?

Yes, spousal support orders in Texas can be modified if there is a material and substantial change in circumstances. This could include changes in income, employment status, or health that affect either spouse's ability to pay or need for support.

Is there a limit to how long spousal support can last in Texas?

In most cases, spousal support in Texas is limited to the shortest reasonable period that allows the receiving spouse to earn enough income to meet their basic needs, typically not exceeding 5, 7, or 10 years depending on the circumstances, although longer durations can be ordered for marriages lasting 10 years or more.

Is spousal support taxable in Texas?

Spousal support is generally taxable as income for the recipient and tax-deductible for the paying spouse in Texas. However, parties can agree otherwise or a court can order differently based on the circumstances of the case. It's essential to consult with a tax professional to understand the tax implications of spousal support payments.

Can spousal support be waived in a Texas divorce?

Yes, spouses can agree to waive spousal support/alimony in Texas as part of their divorce settlement. This is typically outlined in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement or decided during divorce negotiations. However, the court will review such agreements to ensure they are fair and not unconscionable.

What happens if the paying spouse fails to pay spousal support in Texas?

If the paying spouse fails to make spousal support payments in Texas, the receiving spouse can take legal action to enforce the support order. This may include filing a motion for enforcement with the court, which can result in penalties for the delinquent spouse, such as wage garnishment, contempt of court charges, or even imprisonment in extreme cases.

Can spousal support be terminated early in Texas?

Yes, spousal support in Texas can be terminated early under certain circumstances, such as the death of either spouse, the remarriage of the receiving spouse, or if the receiving spouse cohabitates with another person in a romantic relationship, which can be grounds for termination or modification of spousal support.

Are there alternatives to traditional spousal support in Texas?

Yes, Texas courts may consider alternatives to traditional spousal support, such as a lump-sum payment, property division, or other financial arrangements, depending on the circumstances of the divorce. These alternatives can offer more flexibility and finality in resolving financial obligations between divorcing spouses.

Do I need a lawyer for spousal support/alimony matters in Texas?

While it's possible to navigate spousal support/alimony matters without a lawyer in Texas, it's highly recommended to seek legal advice, especially if there are complex financial issues or disagreements between spouses. A qualified family law attorney can provide valuable guidance and representation to ensure your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

Why Choose Our Firm?

Whether you are the spouse paying or receiving alimony, you need a lawyer who is experienced and familiar with the laws and guidelines surrounding this process. Let our team help you work through this process and come out on top. We understand that this is a very personal and private matter, so we work hard to make sure you are comfortable throughout the process.

The Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress is committed to providing you with the personalized legal service you deserve. We understand how stressful and difficult this process can be, and we are here to help make it a little more manageable.

Contact us today at (817) 497-8148 to schedule an initial consultation.

The Opinions That Matter Most

  • My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice.

    “Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”

  • Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.

    “I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”

  • I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care.

    “I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”

  • This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.

    “This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”

Why Choose Us For Your Family Matters?
  • Direct Access To Your Attorney

    Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need. 

  • Transparency
    Honesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
  • Team Oriented

    At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.

  • Personalized Approach
    Our team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.