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Fort Worth Spousal Support Lawyer

Fort Worth Spousal Support Attorney

Fort Worth Spousal Support Attorney Serving Tarrant County

Every divorce case is different. Spouses will bring unique concerns to these matters based on their relationships, histories, personalities, and concerns. The specific issues that will need to be addressed will depend on the unique circumstances of a case, and concerns that affect one divorce may not be a factor in other cases. One issue that often needs to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis is the matter of spousal support. This form of financial support, which is also known as alimony, may be paid by one spouse to the other for a certain period of time after the end of the couple's marriage, and its purpose is to ensure that both spouses will be able to maintain the lifestyle they were used to while they were married. Spousal support will not play a role in every divorce, and understanding how to address this issue can often be a complex matter.

If you believe that you should receive alimony because you earn a lower income than your spouse, or if your spouse is asking you to pay support following your divorce, you will need to understand how the law may affect your situation. At Hatton & Hatton, PLLC, we can advise you of how Texas' divorce laws may affect these payments, and we will provide you with representation to ensure that this issue will be addressed correctly. Our goal is to protect your financial interests and ensure that you will be able to meet your ongoing needs after your marriage has been legally dissolved.

When Is Spousal Support Awarded in Texas?

The Texas Family Code will only allow spousal maintenance (the term it uses to describe spousal support or alimony) to be awarded to a spouse in certain circumstances. A spouse may be eligible to receive maintenance in the following situations:

  • A couple was married for at least 10 years, and one spouse is unable to earn a minimum reasonable income.
  • A spouse cannot earn enough income to fully support themselves because they have a physical or mental disability.
  • A spouse is the custodial parent or guardian of a child who has a physical or mental disability, and the requirement to provide care and supervision for the child has prevented the parent from earning sufficient income.
  • The spouse who would pay support engaged in a criminal act of family violence that took place within the two years prior to the date that the divorce process began or while the divorce was ongoing.

These requirements address situations where a person may be at an extreme financial disadvantage following their divorce or would struggle to be able to cover the ongoing, daily costs for themselves or their children. An example of a situation where a court may order spousal maintenance would be a case where a couple was married for multiple decades, and during this time, one spouse did not work outside the home, choosing to focus instead on raising the couple's children and managing household responsibilities. Since a person in this situation would most likely encounter difficulty re-entering the workforce due to their lack of experience, spousal support may provide them with assistance for a certain period of time as they pursue education or take other steps to increase their ability to earn an income. For spouses who have reached a certain age, such as those who get divorced after the age at which they would usually retire, spousal maintenance may be permanent, and they may receive support for the rest of their lives.

While spousal maintenance may only be awarded by a court in limited situations, a couple may be able to reach an agreement in which one spouse will pay support to the other. This is known as contractual alimony, and it may be included in a settlement in an uncontested divorce. Spouses may agree that contractual alimony will be appropriate in situations where one spouse earns a significantly higher income than the other, and their agreement may specify how much will be paid, whether payments will be made in a lump sum or on an ongoing basis, and the amount of time that support payments will last.

Contact Our Tarrant County Spousal Support Attorneys

If you believe spousal support will be a factor in your divorce, our lawyers can advise you of your rights and help you protect your financial interests. We will help determine whether you may be eligible for spousal maintenance, or we can help you negotiate a settlement that will include contractual alimony. To get legal help with these issues and learn how we can work with you to complete your divorce successfully, set up a complimentary consultation by contacting us at 817-349-8120.

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