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Spousal Support and Alimony
Austin Spousal Support and Alimony Attorneys
What is Temporary Spousal Support?
During the divorce process, temporary support may be ordered depending on the financial circumstances of the spouses.
At the onset of the case, each spouse fills out a Financial Information Statement in order to determine the needs of the spouses and the children. The temporary support becomes part of the temporary orders under which the parties live until the divorce is final or further order of the court.
Is Temporary Spousal Support Deductible? No, during the marriage and up until the divorce is final, all salary, wages and most income from separate property is characterized as community income unless a prenup or postnup with a partition agreement is in place. That means that each spouse shares equally in the marital estate’s income. Payment of temporary spousal support is merely an allocation of funds that belong to each of the spouses.
Find Help & Legal Support in Austin
We understand the impact divorce can have on your life and finances. Here at Vaught Law Firm, our attorneys have over 40 years of extensive legal experience in family law cases including spousal support. We guide our clients through their divorce process and ensure their rights are represented in and out of court.
What is Contractual Alimony?
Contractual alimony is simply a contract made between divorcing spouses as part of a final divorce settlement. It is one of the tools that our attorneys can use to help settle cases.
Is Contractual Alimony Tax Deductible? Contractual alimony was used extensively prior to January 2019 due to the tax benefits offered when a high earner was able to pay (and deduct) alimony payments at the marginal tax rate of the high earner. The lower earner received (and paid tax on) payments at the marginal tax rate of the lower earner. The effect was to create a tax benefit from the difference in the marginal tax rates. Unfortunately, this option is no longer available due to the recent (2018) tax legislation.
How Can I Be Sure that I Will Receive the Contractual Alimony Due to Me? Contractual alimony is not enforceable as a part of the division of the marital estate. If the payor stops making payments, the payee who was to receive the payments would have to sue the payor for breach of contract. Breach of contract is covered by civil contract law.
Is Contractual Alimony Still Useful as an Effective Divorce Solution? Prior to January 2019, we used Contractual Alimony as one of our tools to help our clients achieve a workable solution to dividing their Marital Estate. However, due to the change in tax treatment, it has limited use as an effective divorce solution.
Who Can Get Spousal Maintenance?
In Texas, there is a presumption that spousal maintenance is not warranted unless certain facts and circumstances are presented to the court. That means not every spouse, no matter how long the marriage lasts, is entitled to spousal maintenance. There are many factors that determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate. Generally, a spouse who has sufficient property, including the spouse’s separate property and the ability, education and earning capacity to meet their minimum reasonable needs will not qualify for spousal maintenance.
Is There a Dollar Limit on Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance payments (monthly) may not exceed the lesser of $5,000 or twenty percent of the spouse’s average monthly gross income.
Are there other special situations where spousal maintenance would be ordered?
How can I be sure that I will receive the spousal maintenance that is ordered?
Spousal maintenance is enforceable as part of the division of the marital estate, and the Texas Family Code has additional guidance on how it would be accomplished. A Writ of Withholding Order can be issued to have the payments automatically deducted from the payor’s earnings.
What if my ex-spouse dies or remarries?
If your ex-spouse dies or remarries, spousal maintenance terminates on the death of either party or on the remarriage of the payee. A court can terminate the spousal maintenance obligation if the payee cohabitates with another person in a permanent place of abode on a continuing basis.
How Long Does Spousal Maintenance Last?
Spousal support maximum duration is affected by the length of the marriage unless support is needed as the result of a physical or mental disability. In such cases, spousal support may last as long as the disability continues to prevent the former spouse from earning income that allows financial independence. Spousal maintenance is enforceable as part of the division of the marital estate.
The Texas Family Code has additional guidance on how it would be accomplished.
Integrity and compassion are the hallmark of this team, and I owe them a debt I’ll never be able to repay. They are the advocate you need.
Meet the Team
ATTORNEY JIMMY VAUGHT
Board-certified in family law and civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Specialization
ATTORNEY ERIN LEAKE
Family law attorney with broad experience in a variety of divorce and family law matters.
ATTORNEY JILLIAN FRENCH
Family law lawyer with experience in family law and military divorce.
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If you would like to know more about how our firm can help with your case, we invite you to give us a call at 512-342-9980 or fill out the form below. We seek a favorable outcome on your behalf and provide superior service you require.