The Fetty Firm, PC, is proud to provide quality Colleyville TX Spousal Support law assistance to clients in and around Tarrant County. Our law firm has vast experience in representing clients that are requesting spouse support. Our divorce lawyer, Rashelle Fetty, put our clients’ best interest at the top of her priority list.
Typically when a divorced spouse doesn’t earn sufficient income or has child custody and needs the spousal maintenance that the court mandates in order to support the family, they resort to filing for divorce through the courts in Texas.
A frequently used term to refer to regular payments that one spouse makes to the other after the divorce is “alimony.” The alimony can either be agreed upon by the spouses or can be ordered by the courts. In the state of Texas, a court order for alimony is referred to as “spousal maintenance” or “spousal support.”
A court may order spousal maintenance if the spouse seeking support will not have enough property when the divorce occurs. Consequently, this spouse won’t be able to provide basic needs in addition to meeting one of the following circumstances:
Qualifying for Spousal Maintenance
- A spouse is convicted of committing family violence directed to another spouse or the other spouse’s child during the marriage. This would be a legitimate reason for spousal support if the act of violence occurred during the divorce proceedings or within two years prior to the filing for divorce
- The spouse seeking support cannot earn sufficient income for essential needs. This inability is caused by either a physical or mental disability
- If the spouses were married for over ten years. Additionally, the spouse seeking support is not able to earn enough for basic needs
- The spouse seeking support has custody of the children from the marriage. Furthermore, the child must require special care and supervision because of a mental or physical disability. The condition of the child also prevents the custodial spouse from earning sufficient income for essential needs.
Presumption Against an Order for Spousal Support
With the exception of when there is a conviction of family violence, courts will begin the process with the assumption that an order for spousal maintenance is not appropriate. To overcome the assumption, the spouse seeking support has to find evidence that convinces the court that she or he has made a good effort to earn income or to develop skills needed for essential needs during the separation and divorce proceedings.
Once the courts determine that spousal maintenance is appropriate, the judge will then consider various factors to calculate how much to award and how long the spousal support should last:
- Each spouses’ financial resources at the time of the divorce in addition to the ability to provide financial assistance for that spouse’s basic needs
- The spouse’s education and employment skills, how long it would take, and how manageable it would be for the spouse seeking maintenance to receive proper education or training. Additionally, courts will look at the availability of training or education.
- Marriage’s length
- Age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional health of the seeking spouse
- Whether or not there is child support being paid
- Whether either spouse has spent community funds carelessly, destroyed, concealed, or fraudulently disposed of joint property
- If the spouse seeking support contributed to the education or training of the other spouse, assisting in the ability to earn money
- Property that each spouse contributed to the marriage
- Whether one of the spouses was a homemaker while married
- If there are any acts of adultery or cruel treatment by either spouse
- History or pattern of family violence
Duration of Spousal Maintenance
When the court orders support for a spouse who needs it due to mental or physical disabilities, or due to the spouse being the custodian of the child with a physical or mental disability, then the order can be as long as those conditions exist. Furthermore, the court may order periodic hearings to stay updated on the circumstances.
All other types of spousal support are time-limited in the state of Texas. Orders for spousal support cannot last longer than:
- Five years, in the instance, that the marriage lasted less than ten years. Additionally, the court ordered maintenance because of an act of family violence
- Five years, if the marriage lasted between ten and twenty years
- Seven years, if the marriage lasted from 20 to 30 years
- Ten years, if the marriage lasted 30 or more years
Regardless of the circumstances, courts limit the order to the shortest reasonable time. This timeframe allows the spouse receiving payment to order enough income for basic needs unless the spouse can’t do so. Their inability to do so could be a physical or mental disability, duties caring for an infant or young child of the marriage, or other legitimate reasons.
A Maintenance Order Ends When
- One of the spouses dies
- The spouse receiving maintenance
- If the court determines that the spouse receiving maintenance lives in a permanent home with another person in a dating or romantic relationship
Things to Know
Generally speaking, a monthly support payment cannot exceed $5,000 or 20% of the average gross monthly income of the paying spouse, whichever is less. Moreover, the paying spouse can deduct payments from income. And for the spouse receiving support, the payments count as income and are taxable.
Contact our Colleyville TX Spousal Support Attorney
Here at The Fetty Firm, we’re committed to providing the best law services around. With over ten years in the legal sector, Rashelle Fetty has the expertise to help you in the best way possible. Our goal is to help clients find the best resolutions for their family law cases. In fact, aside from spousal support, we also deal with estate planning, probate, and more types of family law cases.
Additionally, our firm is proud to provide personal and attentive support. When you choose The Fetty Firm, you’re betting on experience, exceptional client support, and a consistent and rigorous commitment to excellence. Contact us today to set an appointment today. You can reach us by calling (214) 546-5746, or visiting our spousal support page to learn more about Colleyville TX Spousal Support.
Colleyville TX Fun Facts
- The city of Colleyville is located in Tarrant County
- Home to 11 beautiful parks
- Located 22 miles from Dallas
- Learn more about Colleyville here