Spousal Support and Alimony A Legacy of Excellence in Family Law

Spousal Support & Alimony Lawyers in Bellaire, TX

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Spousal support, also known as alimony, can be one of the most divisive issues in a divorce. This is because it directly impacts the financial future of both parties involved. For the paying spouse, it represents a continuing financial obligation that can affect their standard of living. 

For the receiving spouse, it is often viewed as essential for maintaining their lifestyle and providing financial stability. This holds especially if they are economically disadvantaged or have sacrificed career opportunities for the marriage. Differences in perspectives on what constitutes fair and reasonable support can lead to significant disputes.

At ALP Law Firm, we understand the disagreement and contention that can arise in divorce or a post-divorce situation concerning alimony. We routinely resolve these cases for clients and have done so for decades. Our highly experienced legal team provides extensive knowledge and support to help you seek or contest spousal support through negotiations, mediation, or in court. 

Request a consultation with a Bellaire spousal support attorney to discuss the details of your case by contacting ALP Law Firm at (346) 536-9842. Hablamos español.

Overview of Spousal Support in Texas

The primary purpose of spousal support or alimony is to provide financial assistance to a lower-earning or non-earning spouse following a divorce. The goal is to ensure that the recipient can maintain a standard of living reasonably close to the one enjoyed during the marriage while they work towards becoming financially independent. 

Moreover, it compensates for any economic disadvantages one spouse may have incurred due to the marriage, such as taking time off work to raise children or supporting the higher-earning spouse's career.

Spousal support or alimony is not automatic in every divorce. You must request it, and it is only granted by the court based on specific criteria. Courts in Texas evaluate several factors to determine whether spousal support should be awarded.

Types of Texas Spousal Support

Several types of spousal support or alimony are available, each serving a specific purpose. During the divorce proceedings, temporary financial support can be ordered to help the lower-earning spouse meet their short-term expenses. This type of support lasts only until the final divorce decree is issued. 

Court-Ordered Maintenance

Court-ordered spousal “maintenance” may be awarded to provide financial support to a spouse after the divorce is finalized. 

Eligibility for this includes:  

  • The marriage must have lasted at least 10 years 
  • The receiving spouse cannot earn enough to meet their minimum reasonable needs due to a physical or mental disability.
  • The receiving spouse is the custodian of a child from the marriage who requires substantial care and personal supervision due to a physical or mental disability; this prevents the custodial parent from earning sufficient income.
  • The supporting spouse was convicted of family violence against the other spouse or their child, and the offense occurred within two years before the divorce filing or while the divorce was pending.

Maintenance duration varies depending on the length of the marriage and other factors but generally is: 

  • Up to five years for marriages lasting 10-20 years or if family violence was involved.
  • Up to seven years for marriages lasting 20-30 years.
  • Up to 10 years for marriages lasting over 30 years.
  • Indefinite if the receiving spouse or child has a permanent disability.

Contractual Spousal Support

This is agreed-upon financial support between spouses outside a court order. It is determined through mutual agreement, with terms and duration set by the spouses themselves. The agreement can be more flexible and tailored to the couple's specific needs and circumstances. It is included in the final divorce decree. 

Valid prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can also set the terms of spousal support as negotiated and finalized by contracting couples. 

Real Stories From Real People

Guiding Families Through the Legal Process With Compassion
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How Do Courts Determine if Support Should Be Awarded?

Texas courts consider multiple factors when deciding whether to award spousal support, including: 

  • The duration of the marriage.
  • Each spouse's financial resources and earning capacity.
  • The age, employment history, and health of the requesting spouse.
  • Contributions by one spouse to the education and career of the other.
  • How the marital property was divided and whether the requesting spouse was awarded adequate property to meet their needs.
  • The paying spouse's ability to support themselves and the recipient.
  • Instances of marital misconduct, such as infidelity or abuse.

Spousal support can be modified or terminated under certain circumstances. This may occur if a significant change occurs in either party's financial situation, such as loss of income, gainful employment of the recipient, or the remarriage of the receiving spouse. Either party can petition the court for a modification based on these changes.

Partner with a Proven Team in Texas Spousal Support Matters

ALP Law Firm offers comprehensive legal counsel in spousal support cases, whether in a pending divorce or post-divorce modifications. We can assess your situation and advise you on the likelihood and extent of a support award, assist in negotiations for fair and equitable arrangements outside of court, or advocate for your interests in court to seek a just outcome.

If you need help modifying an existing support order, we can also advise and represent you or ensure compliance with orders by taking necessary legal enforcement actions. 

Reach us on our online contact form or call (346) 536-9842 to speak with a Bellaire spousal support attorney about your case today. Hablamos español.

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