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San Antonio Alimony Lawyer

San Antonio alimony attorney

Spousal Maintenance Can Be a Stressful Topic

Issues related to money are likely to be a primary concern for anyone who is going through a divorce. Most of the time, spouses will both work and earn an income, and they will be able to support themselves after ending their marriage. However, there are some cases where a person may rely on their spouse to provide for their financial needs. For example, a person may be a stay-at-home parent who does not work outside the home, and they may wish to continue in this role after their divorce. In cases where a person believes that they will be unable to support themselves or maintain their standard of living, they may be able to seek spousal maintenance during the divorce process. This form of financial support is commonly known as alimony or spousal support.

Financial issues are some of the most commonly contested issues in divorce cases. If you are worried about your ability to get the money you need to support yourself, or if you are concerned that payments made to your spouse will leave you with limited financial resources, you will need to work with an attorney who understands these complex financial matters. At Brandon Wong & Associates, understanding complicated financial problems and protecting your interests are our strengths. Our attorneys can help you understand the laws that apply in your situation, and we will work with you to resolve these matters in a way that will allow you to move forward successfully after the end of your marriage.

Alimony Laws in Texas

In Texas, spousal maintenance is not automatic, nor is it awarded in every divorce. A court has the discretion to issue temporary support while the divorce is pending, as well as a final order for maintenance after the divorce is finalized. A couple may also agree that one spouse will pay alimony to the other in their divorce settlement. During an uncontested divorce, spousal support may be an issue that spouses will need to address, especially if one spouse earns a significantly lower income than the other and will need additional support to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during their marriage. Otherwise, a person seeking alimony will need to demonstrate to the court that support is needed.

Spousal maintenance will only be awarded by a court in certain situations. A person may be eligible to receive spousal support if the couple was married for at least 10 years, and the spouse seeking support does not have the ability to earn a sufficient income to meet their minimum reasonable needs. That is, if one spouse did not work while the couple was married and does not have the education or experience that will allow them to obtain employment and earn enough income to support themselves, they may be awarded spousal maintenance. Spousal support may also be appropriate in cases where a spouse has a physical or mental disability that affects their ability to work and earn an income or if they will have primary custody of a child that requires a level of care and supervision that prevents the parent from working and earning sufficient income. In addition, a spouse who was convicted or received deferred adjudication for a family violence offense within two years before the couple's divorce case began may be required to pay spousal maintenance.

A judge will consider many factors when determining whether to award alimony and in what amount. These include:

  • The financial resources of each spouse, including the income they earn, their separate property, and the marital property awarded to them during the divorce.
  • The ability of each spouse to cover their minimum reasonable needs.
  • Each spouse's earning capacity, education, and employment skills.
  • Each spouse's age and their physical and emotional health.
  • The length of the couple's marriage.
  • Any nonmonetary contributions a person made as a homemaker or to the education or career of the other spouse.
  • Actions by either spouse that decreased the value of the marital estate, including hiding assets, making unusual purchases, or transferring property to other parties.
  • Misconduct committed by either spouse, including adultery or spousal abuse.

Spousal Support FAQs


What Is Alimony Based on?

Answer: Spousal support is based on the idea that each spouse has contributed equally to the marriage, whether by earning income directly or by providing domestic services and support, allowing the breadwinner to focus on their career. Therefore, neither spouse should be left empty-handed following a divorce. Without support, a stay-at-home parent or a spouse who is disabled or has not worked in a long time may not be able to exit the marriage due to financial difficulty. If you relied on your spouse financially during your marriage, their obligation to support you financially does not necessarily end.


How Does Alimony Work?

Answer: Generally, the breadwinning spouse will be required to pay the lower-earning or non-earning spouse a set amount each month for the duration decided by the court. A number of factors may be considered when the court is deciding whether you will be entitled to receive spousal maintenance. You will need to prove that after the marital property is divided, you will not have sufficient assets to meet your minimum reasonable needs. You may also need to prove a secondary factor, such as that your spouse committed family violence or that you or a child in your care have a disability.


How Long do You Have to Be Married to Get Alimony?

Answer: In Texas, you generally must have been married for a minimum of 10 years to be awarded spousal support. However, in some cases, spousal maintenance payments can be negotiated as part of a divorce settlement.


How Is Alimony Calculated in Texas?

Answer: The court will consider a variety of relevant factors when determining what amount of alimony is appropriate. There is a cap in Texas - alimony payments must not exceed 20% of the obligor’s income or $5,000 per month. Other factors the court will consider may be related to your ability to begin working and supporting yourself, such as your age and health, whether you would need job training or education before being able to earn sufficient income, whether you contributed to your spouse’s education, and certain forms of marital misconduct.


How Long Does Alimony Last?

Answer: How long you can continue receiving spousal support depends on a number of factors. The length of your marriage is important - those who have depended on their spouse for longer periods of time may be less able to jump back into the workforce. If your marriage lasted 10 years, you could receive payments for up to five years. If it lasted between 20 and 30 years, you could collect alimony for up to seven years. If you were married for over 30 years, you may receive alimony for 10 years.

Contact Our Bexar County Spousal Maintenance Lawyers

If you are considering divorce, our attorneys can answer any questions you may have about alimony or other legal issues, and we will help you take the proper steps to protect your financial interests and address all other aspects of your case. Schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer by calling our office at 210-201-3832 or contacting us online.

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