Spousal Support Lawyer in Fort Worth
At Nilsson Legal Group, we understand that going through a divorce is a milestone that leads to countless life changes once the ink on your divorce decree has dried. This is especially true for those who have heavily leaned on a spouse for financial support.
In divorce cases where one spouse is financially reliant on the other, there may be an opportunity for spousal support.
Alimony Cases in Tarrant County
Nilsson Legal Group is Fort Worth’s leading team of divorce lawyers that help clients easily navigate spousal support after divorce. Our spousal support lawyers assist divorcing spouses in securing fair spousal maintenance payments when warranted.
Our team of alimony lawyers are ready to serve as your legal counsel in and outside of the courtroom. Trust us to help you understand your rights during your divorce and ensure you receive the spousal alimony you deserve.
Spousal Maintenance Eligibility in Texas
Going through a divorce brings about many changes, particularly for those who have been financially dependent upon their spouse.
To be eligible for spousal maintenance, the spouse seeking support must lack sufficient property or income to meet their minimum reasonable needs. In addition, at least one of the following requirements must be met:
- The spouse seeking maintenance must be unable to earn enough income to provide for their reasonable needs due to a physical or mental disability.
- The couple has been married for at least ten years, and the spouse seeking maintenance lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to meet their reasonable needs.
- The spouse seeking maintenance is the custodian of a child with a physical or mental disability, and the child requires substantial care, making it difficult for the custodian to work outside the home and earn sufficient income.
Finally, if the spouse that would be paying alimony has been convicted of a family violence offense against the other spouse of their children at least two years prior to the divorce being filed, spousal maintenance is awarded regardless of the length of the marriage.
Determining Spousal Support Amount
When determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance, the court considers various factors, such as the spouses’ financial resources, education and employment skills, age and health, contributions to the marriage, marital misconduct, and the availability of employment opportunities.
There is commonly a due diligence process involved but no specific formula for determining the amount of spousal support required. Typically, the courts require payors to pay no more than $5,000 a month or 20 percent of their gross monthly income.
Different Types of Spousal Support
Court-ordered maintenance and contractual alimony are two different forms of spousal support arrangements that can arise during divorce or separation.
While they both involve one party paying the other for a specified length of time, there are several key differences between the two support systems.
Court-ordered maintenance is determined and enforced by a court of law. It is an order of high authority based on statutory guidelines considered by the court. In a court-ordered support situation, the court has the authority to make decisions regarding the amount, duration, and conditions of the maintenance order.
Contractual alimony is an agreement reached between the spouses themselves, usually through a written contract. The terms of contractual alimony are negotiated and agreed upon by the parties involved rather than being imposed by the court.
Unlike a court-ordered maintenance enforcement. contractual alimony provides greater flexibility to everyone involved. The parties have more control over the terms and conditions of the alimony arrangement, including the amount, duration, and any other provisions they agree upon. However, a divorce lawyer should always approve or draft contractual alimony agreements. They must still comply with applicable laws and be considered fair and reasonable by the court.
Spousal Support FAQs
What is spousal support?
Spousal support is a court-ordered form of financial support where one spouse pays the other maintenance for a specific amount of time.
How do you get spousal support?
Getting spousal support means building a case that proves your eligibility. This starts with hiring an experienced Fort Worth divorce attorney that can help you prove your need for spousal support and draft the necessary documents that will sway a court’s judgment.
Remember, unlike alimony, spousal support is granted and not negotiated upon between the parties.
Who is eligible for spousal support?
If a couple has been married for at least ten years and the spouse that wants spousal support is unable to earn enough income to be self-supporting after the divorce, they are eligible for spousal support.
Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help further determine a person’s eligibility for spousal support.
What’s the difference between Alimony and Spousal Support?
Spousal support is a court-ordered decree that comes with several requirements in order for a party to receive it.
Alimony is a voluntary contractual arrangement that is negotiated between divorcing parties. It is not court-ordered, but still must fall within the guidelines of the presiding court requirements,
How do I file for alimony?
The first step in filing for alimony is obtaining an experienced spousal support attorney. They can help you bring alimony to the negotiation table and make it a part of your final divorce decree.
How does the court decide the amount?
While there is plenty of due diligence surrounding eligibility for spousal support, there isn’t a clean cut way for the courts to determine the amount paid.
Typically the person paying spousal support pays 20 percent of their monthly gross income or less than $5,000 per month.
How long do I have to pay spousal support?
The duration of spousal maintenance may vary depending on the specific circumstances. In most cases, the court will order maintenance for a limited period, giving the recipient spouse time to become self-supporting.
However, in cases involving a disability or caring for a disabled child, the court may order long-term or indefinite maintenance.
Spousal Support Attorney for Alimony in Tarrant County
Spousal support and alimony negotiations can be complex terrain, especially in the midst of an already emotional divorce. The experienced spousal support attorneys of Nilsson Legal Group can help you navigate murky waters and build a solid case that ensures you receive the compensation you are owed after your divorce.
Start the process today and schedule your free consultation with our Fort Worth family law firm.