Alimony/Spousal Support Attorney in Fort Worth, Texas
The end of a marriage is a period of emotional turmoil and difficult changes. In addition to picking up the pieces of your life and searching for a path toward a better future, you have other immediate concerns to think about—including how you will make ends meet financially. Alimony (also known as spousal support) plays a critical role in the divorce process, and it’s important for you to understand it, no matter which side of the alimony agreement you are on.
Working with an experienced family law attorney with extensive knowledge of divorce and alimony laws can put you in a position to seek the most favorable outcome available to you. If you are located in the greater Fort Worth, Texas, area, including the surrounding communities throughout Johnson County and Tarrant County, there is dedicated legal representation available to help you every step of the way. Get the guidance you need by reaching out to Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law today to schedule a consultation.
Overview of Alimony in Texas
Spousal support is handled in a variety of ways in different states across the country. In Texas, the court will only award alimony to a requesting spouse if the situation falls under a specific set of circumstances. Either member of the marriage is allowed to request spousal maintenance, but there is no guarantee the court will grant the request.
Who Is Entitled to Alimony?
Under Texas law, a spouse must meet certain requirements in order to receive an order granting them spousal maintenance. These requirements include:
The requesting spouse is physically or mentally incapable of earning a living.
The couple was married for at least 10 years, and the requesting spouse is not skilled enough to earn a living to pay for basic necessities.
The requesting spouse has custody of a child who has special needs and must care for the child, leaving them unable to work for a living.
The paying spouse was convicted of a violent offense against their spouse or children within the last two years.
If the requesting spouse falls into one of the categories listed above and is unable to pay for their basic needs, the court has grounds to order spousal maintenance.
Determining Type, Amount, and Duration
Spousal support, like other pieces of a divorce agreement, varies from one case to another, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding payment amounts or the duration of the support. There are, however, certain guidelines that can be used to determine what you can expect.
Some of the factors taken into account when determining spousal support include:
the financial situation, employment status, and education level of each spouse
the length of the marriage
the age and physical condition of the requesting spouse
child custody and child support obligations
the financial contributions (either as provider or homemaker) of each spouse
history of marital misconduct or violence on the part of either spouse
Though the list above is not exhaustive, the factors mentioned will lay a foundation for how the court will determine the length and duration of spousal support payments.
How Long Does It Last?
Spousal support orders are not in effect indefinitely. Under Texas law, there are strict guidelines and end points for payments, including:
five years if a couple was married less than 10 years but one party was convicted of violent crime against a family member
five years if the couple was married for more than 10 but less than 20 years
seven years if the couple was married for at least 20 but not more than 30 years
ten years if the couple was married for 30 or more years
Other circumstances can affect the duration of spousal support, such as the receiving spouse cohabitating or remarrying. Your attorney will be able to provide you with more details regarding the duration of spousal support orders.
Modifying Existing Alimony Agreements
If there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances for one of the parties, either spouse has the right to petition for a modification of an existing spousal support order. It is important to note, however, that payments must continue to be made until the court officially grants a request for modification.
Trust an Experienced Attorney
With so much riding on the legal arrangements made during your divorce process, attempting to handle things on your own without the help of a knowledgeable attorney is not your best option. Working with a family law attorney with experience in handling divorces of all types will give you confidence as you move through the process of ending your marriage and negotiating agreements for child custody, visitation, child support, and alimony. Your attorney will make sure your best interests are the focus and your rights are protected as you look for the best path forward.
Alimony Attorney Serving Fort Worth, Texas
Whether you are making alimony payments or receiving them, you owe it to yourself to seek the most favorable alimony arrangement available to you. If you are in Fort Worth, Texas, or the nearby areas throughout Tarrant County or Johnson County, get the reliable legal help you need by contacting Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and learn about your options.