Will Spousal Maintenance Be Part Of Your Divorce?
In many marriages, one spouse serves as the primary breadwinner while the other spouse plays a different role, often taking care of young children and other obligations. In many cases, the dependent spouse sacrificed a career or education over the years to support the spouse who is now the primary breadwinner.
If the two get divorced, the dependent spouse is at a great disadvantage. This person has often been out of the workforce for years with children and has possibly not completed the education needed to get a job that would support their current standard of living.
Helping To Smooth The Transition
Spousal maintenance is available to help ease this transition and provide for that dependent spouse as they work toward financial independence. It is only available, however, if the spouse seeking maintenance can prove that they do not have the property or assets to provide for reasonable needs and lifestyle.
At Fabio & Merrill in Houston, our lawyers work to provide solutions in this area that reflect the needs and long-term goals of our clients. Our attorneys understand just how overwhelming this can be and work to provide peace of mind and an assurance that the future will be provided for.
In Texas, spousal maintenance is a court-ordered arrangement where the breadwinner must make a monthly payment to the dependent spouse that is set by the discretion of the judge. Often, the amount and duration of the payments are influenced by the division of property, the duration of the marriage, sacrifices made by the dependent spouse, and level of need and lifestyle. Temporary spousal maintenance is often available during the divorce proceedings; permanent spousal maintenance is not always available.
Generally, the dependent spouse must demonstrate that they are working toward becoming independent, either by searching for a job or by furthering their education.
Divorce alimony is ordered when there is an agreement between the spouses and set out in a contract, attached to the divorce decree. This monthly payment from the financially secure spouse to the dependent spouse can be beneficial for both. The payer may be able to reduce their tax bracket and the recipient has a steady income on which they are taxed. These agreements are often used for bargaining in the division of assets to arrive at an equitable split.