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Plano, TX Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Murphy spousal maintenance lawyer

Attorney for Alimony and Spousal Support Orders in Collin County

Many people are under the impression that divorce and alimony go hand-in-hand, and that one spouse will inevitably have to make support payments to the other as part of the divorce order. You may be surprised to learn that in Texas, spousal support is only awarded in very limited circumstances. You should be sure to understand how Texas courts make spousal maintenance decisions, especially if you expect to rely on support to meet your needs after your divorce.

At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, we have practiced family law for 10 years, and we will use our knowledge and experience to help you determine whether maintenance is a likely factor in your divorce. We can help you make your case in court for the maintenance you need, and we can also ensure that you are treated fairly if you are the paying spouse. We make an effort to listen to your story so that we understand your priorities and we can approach your case accordingly.

Who Qualifies for Spousal Maintenance in Texas?

In many other states, courts will award spousal maintenance in a variety of situations when there is a disparity in income or assets between spouses. However, in Texas, the eligibility standards for maintenance are extremely high. If you hope to receive spousal support, you will need to demonstrate to the court that your divorce will leave you without sufficient assets to meet your basic needs, along with at least one of the following:

  • Your spouse has committed an act of domestic violence against you or a child of your marriage within two years of filing for divorce or while the divorce is pending.
  • You have an incapacitating physical or mental disability that prevents you from earning sufficient income.
  • Your marriage lasted at least 10 years, and you are unable to earn sufficient income, perhaps due to a lack of education or work experience.
  • You are unable to earn sufficient income because you have custody of a child of your marriage who has a physical or mental disability.

It is important to note that while the court will only order maintenance under one of these circumstances, you may be able to reach a spousal support agreement with your spouse even if you do not meet these criteria. For example, it is possible to include spousal support terms in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, or to negotiate for spousal support along with the division of marital property in an uncontested divorce.

How Much and How Long Does Maintenance Last?

In the case of court-ordered spousal support, many different factors will be considered to determine the amount paid and how long payments should last. Some of these factors include each spouse's age, health, financial resources, education, skills, and contributions to the marriage, as well as evidence of a spouse's adultery, cruelty, or destruction or fraud of the couple's community property.

In Texas, the amount of spousal support ordered is limited to 20 percent of the paying spouse's gross monthly income up to a maximum of $5,000. In cases involving the disability of the spouse or their child, maintenance can continue indefinitely. Otherwise, the duration is limited based on the length of the marriage, up to 10 years for a marriage that lasted at least 30 years. A maintenance order can also be modified after the divorce, and it terminates when either spouse dies or when the receiving spouse cohabits with a new partner or remarries.

Contact a Denton County Spousal Support Attorney

If you need a strong advocate to help you negotiate or petition for spousal maintenance, we are ready to assist. For a free consultation, contact us today at 972-422-2424. We represent clients throughout Denton County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, and Collin County, including Plano, Parker, Sachse, Lucas, Murphy, Wylie, and the surrounding areas.

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