SPOUSAL SUPPORT & MAINTENANCE (ALIMONY) ATTORNEYS IN DENTON
A divorce is a traumatic and difficult time for any couple. Navigating the complicated laws and regulations surrounding spousal support and maintenance, the Texas version of alimony, can be very exasperating and frustrating. When you know you need a spousal support or alimony lawyer in the Denton area of Texas, you should choose your attorney carefully. With more than 20 years of experience, Hill & Hill can provide you the information you need and the representation you deserve.
Maintenance or spousal support is usually awarded to a spouse who has been out of the workforce for a period of time to care for a home and family. That spouse can use this money to live independently and still pay for necessities, such as rent, water, electricity and groceries. There are two types of spousal support or maintenance in the state of Texas: court ordered and contractual.
Court Ordered Spousal Support/Maintenance
As the name implies, such spousal support is ordered by a family court judge. Such an order is binding and can be used to compel a payment when a spouse is otherwise unwilling. However, simply having a legal ruling stating the spouse owes you this money does not necessarily mean you can easily secure that money. Furthermore, such payments will not last forever or amount to a very large sum of money. Because Texas views spousal maintenance as a disincentive to returning to the work force. For this reason, the state makes it tough for such orders to be issued and maintained. It believes it is in the state’s and all involved parties’ best interest to return to the workforce.
In addition, there are eligibility requirements. Recent rulings have changed Texas law on spousal support significantly. Since 2011, spouses are required to prove that they will be unable to meet minimum reasonable needs even after the division of all properties, assets, and liabilities. Beyond this, the following is also required:
- The marriage lasted for 10 years or more and the spouse made diligent efforts to secure the income and skills needed to meet their minimum reasonable needs, OR
- Family violence has been committed by the spouse owing support, OR
- The spouse requesting support has a disability considered incapacitating, OR
- A child (no matter their age) from the marriage has a mental or physical disability that requires constant supervision and thus prevents the spouse seeking support from being able to secure the needed income.
Contractual Spousal Support/Maintenance
Again, as the name suggests, this is a voluntary spousal agreement that is entered into willingly by the parties involved. Because it is not legally binding, there are no eligibility requirements as such for spousal support. These are typically used by ex-spouses to establish the needed monthly income in order to secure a living situation when one of them is unemployed, underemployed, etc.
Under Texas state law, if the spouse receiving support remarries, this cancels the spousal support obligation of both court-ordered and contractual spousal support agreements.
Our Pledge to You
We understand that the processes involved in spousal support and alimony cases can be long and difficult, and there can be a substantial burden of proof as part of your case. This situation can be even more stressful when you are already dealing with the emotional pains of divorce. We respect those feelings, and we will do everything in our power to help your alimony case in Denton and Cooke County go as smoothly, quickly and successfully as possible.
To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, give Hill & Hill a call today at 940-381-3688.