An Arlington Divorce Attorney Explains: What Are Three Types of Spousal Support in Texas?

Newly married couples starting to build a new life together will soon realize that taking care of a  home and young children is no small feat. This may lead to one person leaving their job to be a full-time homemaker. This may benefit the marriage and the children, but in the event of a divorce, the stay-at-home parent may find it difficult to afford a living due to the years of professional hiatus. For this reason, Texas courts often award alimony when couples with earning disparities separate.

An Arlington Divorce Attorney Explains What Are Three Types of Spousal Support in Texas

When considering divorce in Texas, it is essential to make sure that you consult with an experienced Arlington divorce attorney who can assist you in the process and answer all of your questions.

Defining Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary spousal support refers to the alimony paid during the divorce proceedings. It ceases after a certain period when the court decides that the lower-earning spouse should have found another means of income. However, there are cases when the judge will extend the temporary spousal support. To make this happen, the lower-earning spouse and their Arlington divorce lawyer must file a Motion for Temporary Orders to the court. However, it’s important to note that this motion is not always rewarded and is reserved for cases where the court deems it fair and necessary.

Defining Contractual Alimony and Spousal Maintenance

Contractual alimony refers to the spousal support agreement the two parties agree on. With this, the soon-to-be ex-couple independently decides on the amount to be paid and the duration of payments. This agreement needs to be outlined in a contract which is then presented to the court during the hearings. 

On the other hand, spousal maintenance is alimony ordered by the court. This is harder to receive because it has many strict prerequisites. For example, the lower-earning party and their Arlington divorce attorney must prove to the judge that they don’t have enough assets to meet their basic needs. 

Can Spousal Support Be Terminated?

As discussed above, the following are the ways in Texas that you can obtain spousal support:

  • By contractually entering into an alimony agreement.
  • By obtaining an order from the court for spousal maintenance.
  • By filing a petition for temporary spousal support.

If a divorce case involves a contractual alimony agreement, the terms of the contract will include when the support payments end. However, if the parties fail to specify a date when the support payments are terminated, the supporting spouse is required to pay indefinitely.

If the divorce case involves spousal maintenance, the court dictates the required time period of spousal support payments. Court-ordered spousal maintenance is terminated by law if any of the following scenarios occur:

  • The receiving spouse remarries.
  • The receiving spouse co-habitates with a new significant other.
  • If either party’s spouse dies.

Some factors that could affect the duration of spousal support include the following:

  • The receiving party is only allowed to collect alimony for no longer than five years if the divorcing couple was married for ten years or the grounds for issuing spousal support is due to domestic violence.
  • Suppose the grounds for the issuance of spousal support was the mental or physical impairment of the receiving party. In that case, the spouse can collect monetary support for as long as related medical conditions exist. In addition, the same is true if the child of the divorcing couple has a disability or needs constant medical assistance. 
  • The receiving party could collect alimony for no longer than seven years if the couple were married between twenty and thirty years.
  • The receiving spouse could collect alimony for no longer than ten years if the divorcing couple has been married for thirty years or more.
  • Lastly, if the divorce case involves temporary spousal support, it would end as soon as the divorce is finalized and all marital disputes are settled.

Contact an Experienced Arlington Divorce Lawyer

The divorce process is challenging and confusing for everyone involved, even if the separation was amicable. Properties must be split, and custody arrangements must be outlined if children are involved. In addition, if there are plans to file for spousal support requests, the procedure becomes all the more complex. An experienced Arlington divorce lawyer can help you receive everything you deserve during a divorce. Having a legal team professional on your team will reduce stress for you and your family and will ensure that you avoid making any mistakes during the proceedings.

Call the Law Offices of David Kohm today at any of our convenient locations and get a free consultation.

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