If you’re preparing for a divorce in Texas, you need to know how new legal decisions could affect you after the divorce. Whether you earn more than your spouse and provide most of the finances to take care of the family or you are a stay-at-home parent and rely on your spouse’s income to care for your children, these new laws will affect your future earnings. The Rachel Hewett Firm has helped individuals protect their best interests during a divorce so starting over doesn’t have to be a dire situation.
Historically, Texas was the slowest state to adopt any form of alimony after a divorce. In the past, after a divorce, no one was required to make any form of payment to their former spouse. The term for alimony is “spousal maintenance”, which means any payment from one former spouse to the other.
Following the law for spousal maintenance, Texas had one of the most stringent statutes. Qualifying for it required 10 years of marriage. The person requesting spousal maintenance had to prove to the judge they couldn’t earn enough money to provide for their needs after the divorce. Payments after the divorce would be granted for three years at up to $2,500 a month or no more than 20% of the other spouse’s income, and they were rarely given.
Today, payments after the divorce can last up to five years for a marriage of ten to twenty years. For longer marriages of twenty to thirty years, payments may last up to seven years. Marriages over thirty years long can last for up to 10 years. The maximum payment per month has also increased from a $2,500 maximum to $5,000 maximum each month.
Compared to other states, Texas spousal maintenance law is still considered meager, but this revision does create a wider range of options for a judge to grant in divorces. If you are financially dependent on your spouse, the judge has more ways to offer you support following your divorce. If you were the provider of most or all of the income in your marriage, it’s realistic to expect you will be required to contribute some level of spousal maintenance following your divorce while your former spouse gets back on their feet re-entering the workforce or building their career to support themselves. Despite your best intentions to be fair with your spouse, they may come after you wanting to take everything or refusing to give you any ground in a divorce. No one wants to be taken advantage of in this situation so make sure you have a lawyer who protects your needs and will help settle your divorce, including spousal maintenance in an amicable manner.
The Rachel Hewett Firm can help you in your divorce, whatever the circumstances. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with your Allen divorce attorney by calling 972-426-2637.