Spousal Support Is An Important Question To Answer

Many people use the terms alimony, spousal support and maintenance interchangeably. They have very different meanings, and the subject is one of the most confusing aspects of divorce in Texas. It is important to know how the law works if you are considering divorce, particularly if you are concerned with the question, "Will I pay or receive money, and how much?"

The answer will affect your financial future. When you hire Hoppes & Cutrer in Tarrant County, we do everything to help ensure that your interests are protected and properly considered in discussions about maintenance. With 20-plus years of experience each, our attorneys know how to do so effectively.

Do you have questions about support or maintenance in Tarrant County? Schedule a comprehensive discussion with our lawyers. Call our office in Hurst at 817-864-8594 or send us an email.

A Few Things To Know About Post-Divorce Spousal Maintenance In Texas

We have said it before, and we will say it again, every divorce is different. We cannot give you a specific answer until we know the circumstances of your case. No attorney can do this on a website. What we can do, is help you understand how maintenance works, including the interplay with property division decisions, and encourage you to speak with us.

Below are a few things we think you should know now.

  • There is no such thing as alimony in Texas. In Texas, you can petition for post-divorce spousal maintenance.
  • Yes, you should have an experienced attorney. Whether you make a petition or challenge one, you have to paint an accurate financial picture that includes current income and property, future career prospects, employability, spending habits, and many other factors.
  • It is not an either/or question. Maintenance is not a matter of "either I'll pay or I'll receive it." A party must petition for an order, and a judge does not issue one in every case.
  • A request alone is insufficient. The spouse who petitions for maintenance must show that he/she is unable to provide for minimum reasonable needs, is unable to do so because of a mental or physical impairment, that the other spouse was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for family violence or other factors we can discuss with you.
  • The sky is not the limit. The law limits the court's discretion, both in terms of amount and duration. The law regarding this issue recently changed and could change again, which is one of many reason why having an experienced attorney is so important.
  • It is not permanent. Texas law no longer provides for permanent maintenance. The duration of an order depends on the length of your marriage as well as other factors.
  • You can request modification, but it is not always easy. Either party can petition to modify or terminate a maintenance order if circumstances changed since the order was issued. The change must be substantial, which can be a high burden of proof.

Can I Get Spousal Maintenance While My Divorce Is Pending?

Post-decree spousal maintenance is an order that becomes effective when you finalize your divorce. If you have concerns about paying the mortgage/rent, utilities or other bills while your divorce is pending, you can request temporary spousal support.

A judge has wide discretion to approve or deny requests for temporary spousal support, and in an amount that is often very limited. Again, we stress the importance of getting advice from our attorneys as soon as you know that divorce may be an option.

Get Expert Advice From Our Attorneys

Few attorneys in Texas are considered experts in family law. With certification in family law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, we are experts, which means you know you are getting the best advice possible.

Call us at 817-864-8594 or send us your information to schedule your consultation.