Spousal maintenance is often mistakenly referred to as alimony in Texas. While similar, they are vastly different. In Texas, alimony is contractual in nature and can only be obtained through the agreement of the parties. Spousal maintenance is a legal obligation imposed on one spouse to pay the other for a period of time after the divorce is granted.
Seeking counsel from a divorce lawyer in Collin County Texas can greatly assist you in determining if you qualify for spousal maintenance.
To qualify for spousal maintenance, you must have been married for at least ten years and the proceeds you receive from the division of the marital estate must not meet your “minimum reasonable needs”. There are a few exceptions to this rule:
In Texas, alimony is a contractual obligation by which one spouse pays another over a period of time. Through December 2018, there are tax advantages to the person paying alimony and tax consequences to the person receiving alimony. Whereas, spousal maintenance is not a tax write off to the person paying, nor income to the person receiving same.
When Spousal Maintenance Can Get Cut Off
Spousal maintenance is generally ordered for a period of years based on the length of your marriage and other factors. However, just because the judge awards you spousal maintenance does not mean that the award cannot be modified. If the paying spouse can prove that the spousal maintenance payments are unnecessary at some point due to a material and substantial change in circumstances, the judge may cut off the support. If you remarry, move in with a significant other, or obtain a job that drastically increases your income, your spousal maintenance payments will likely end.
Hiring a Family Lawyer
Obtaining alimony or spousal maintenance is not always a walk in the park, so it may be in your best interest to speak to divorce lawyers in Collin County TX. They can assess your situation and develop the best strategy to helping you obtain spousal maintenance or alimony. With a confident and competent lawyer on your side, you will feel much better walking into that courtroom.
If your goal is to obtain spousal maintenance or alimony, your first step is scheduling a consultation with a reputable team of divorce lawyers Collin County TX residents know and trust. Make sure to be completely honest with your lawyer and do not leave any details out.
To set up a consultation with a Collin County TX divorce lawyer, contact Scroggins Law Group today.
*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.
**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
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