Divorce or separation is usually a daunting process for both parties. It’s usually emotionally taxing, but it can be even more draining when you factor in the financial aspect. Divorce can be costly when spousal support comes into the picture and often puts severe strain on the spouse responsible for the payments, forcing them to make substantial budget and lifestyle changes.
When you are looking for an alimony lawyer in The Woodlands, Bolton Law is the law firm to call. We have been helping people in cases involving Texas divorce and family law for years. We specialize in family law cases and so, you can be confident we will handle your spousal support case effectively by representing your interests and fighting for your rights.
What Is Spousal Support?
Also called spousal maintenance or alimony, spousal support is the legal obligation of a spouse to provide financial support to the other following divorce or separation.
Will Spousal Support Be Awarded?
While not automatic, most jurisdictions hold that alimony can be awarded in situations where the spouse does not have adequate property, including property provided for reasonable expenses and needs, and they are unable to support themselves through employment.
How Do I Reduce My Exposure to Spousal Support?
There are several things you can do to either reduce the amount or entirely avoid paying spousal support:
End the Marriage as Soon as Possible
One aspect that has a major impact on the amount of spousal support you pay is the overall length of your marriage. Generally, the longer you are in a marriage, the higher the chances of being hit with higher spousal support payments. So, if you believe your union won’t last, end it as soon as possible. Stretching it longer will only result in more emotional distress and longer-lasting spousal maintenance payments.
Change Your Lifestyle
If you handle a substantial pay cut and reduce your living expenses, you might be able to forgo spousal maintenance. You’ll need to find a position that pays way less than your current job, cover your monthly expenses, and not much more. If you have little to no money left at the end of the month, there won’t be anything to pay as alimony.
However, ensure you think carefully about this major change. You need to be certain that you can handle a lifestyle scale-back. Consider working with a financial planner to ensure you can manage to pay your bills.
Pay Property Taxes
If the divorce settlement leaves you with a property that you’re responsible for the taxes on, it may help reduce the amount you owe in alimony. As such, do not hesitate to take on any property your spouse is ready to give up, as long as it means you can pay less in taxes than you would in spousal support.
Prove Your Spouse Was Unfaithful
In most cases, the law does not allow adulterous spouses to seek spousal support. Bear in mind that this will call for more than simply stating that your spouse cheated during your marriage. You have to present evidence, usually in the form of videos and photographs.
Immediately start collecting witness statements and other incriminating proof that proves your spouse was certainly having an affair. Keep in mind that the judge or jury will have the final say regarding whether the evidence showcases adulterous behavior and how it will affect spousal maintenance payments.
Show the Spouse Doesn’t Need the Money
If the other party genuinely doesn’t need the money, you may have a solid case to avoid paying alimony. As such, your task is to prove that your former partner has sufficient assets to cover their cost of living without your temporarily spousal support. They might have a big investment account, a trust fund, or substantial individual assets that they can sell following divorce or separation.
Seek Experienced Representation
When it comes to dealing with alimony cases, you can’t overlook a seasoned alimony lawyer in The Woodlands. That means they should be knowledgeable and experienced in family law and preferably specialize in this field.
Inexperienced lawyers or those who don’t have expertise in family or divorce law sometimes cookie-cutter strategies to settlement agreements that may not fit your situation. The same lawyers may lack family law knowledge and it may help you in a certain situation.
The team at Bolton Law specializes in family law and so, you can be confident you have experienced attorneys by your side.
How Is Alimony Determined?
Judges or the jury will consider an array of statutory factors in order to determine whether alimony is warranted. These factors include the duration of the marriage, financial resources, standard of living, contributions to the marriage, earning capacity, physical and mental condition, etc.
That’s why it is important to have a skilled and seasoned spousal support lawyer as they will play a huge role in the final outcome. They will provide advice on how to avoid spousal payment and negotiate with the jury on your behalf.
How Much Alimony Will I Have to Pay in Texas?
The state of Texas is different in that, unlike other jurisdictions, the law limits the amount of alimony a court can order. Spousal support amounts cannot be more than 20% of the individual’s average monthly gross income or more than $5000, whichever is less.
The judge usually orders periodic payments (often monthly) for alimony. They may also issue an income withholding order. This directs the paying party’s employer to deduct alimony payments from their paycheck and forward them to the appropriate court agency.
When Can I Stop Paying Alimony in Texas?
Unlike some other states that allow for indefinite spousal support, Texas has stringent limits on the duration and situations whereby a spouse will have to pay for alimony. The duration for spousal maintenance payments is primarily based on the length of the marriage, with the maximum period a judge is allowed to consider being 10 years.
However, the rules are different if the judge orders support payments because of a spouse’s mental or physical disability, duties as a custodial parent, or other compelling reasons. Alimony can continue as long as these reasons for support exist.
The spousal support payments can end before the termination date under the following circumstances:
- The spouse dies
- The spouse receiving alimony payments remarries
The court discovers that the spouse getting the spousal support payments is residing in a permanent home with another person in a romantic or dating relationship.
What Does Alimony Pay For?
Alimony can be awarded as a substitute for property division, temporary support to help an ex-spouse get back on their feet, or support to a party with limited earning ability or who cannot be employed. The framework for the initial spousal maintenance decision is vital if the support responsibility is subject to termination.
How Do I Find the Best Divorce Attorney For My Case?
When it comes to complex cases that involve divorce or separation, it is important to have the best in the line. You can find the best divorce lawyers in Woodlands by asking for recommendations from friends that have undergone the same or look up online those with the best ratings.
When doing your homework, ensure the lawyer specializes in family law and that they are not working on multiple cases. They should also be experienced and have a high reasonable win rate, especially if your case is fragile.
Seek Help From an Alimony Lawyer in The Woodlands!
Working with a seasoned Texas family law attorney is vital in understanding, reducing, or avoiding spousal support. When your assets and financial standing are on the line, you need someone who can help you build a solid case. Contact Bolton Law today at 281-351-7897 to learn more about your options.