Determining a Fair Split of Income For Both Spouses After Divorce or Separation.
As divorce and separation in Texas are becoming more common popular ways of two people parting ways, deciding how to fairly apportion wages afterward can serve only to add fuel to marital financial disputes leading to ensuing grudges.
Under Texas law, there are certain formulas commonly used to calculate what each spouse is due, although not every married couple in Texas may be aware of that exact formula, only until the awaited and dramatic announcement of an order for alimony or palimony support payments, which are money obligations the requesting spouse is due after a marriage or relationship ends.
Learning about the rights and duties of spouses after marriage can be helpful in planning your life after a messy divorce, and can help both spouses plan their next relationships without as much uncertainty and confusion as to remaining spousal indebtedness.
It is worthwhile to learn more about the various kinds of alimony and palimony law disputes that arise in big cities such as Dallas, Austin and Houston under Texas law by reading below.
What Forms the Bulk of Alimony, Palimony and Divorce Proceedings Brought in Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas?
According to Nolo.com, the leading authority and legal directory for many civil disputes, alimony and palimony are fairly easy for a family court to calculate and divide.
“Palimony” applies to unmarried couples, and to financial support paid by an unmarried cohabitant to another after the end of the cohabitation usually governed by a cohabitation agreement.
According to the Larson Law Office blog, cohabitation agreements are similar to pre-nuptial agreements between married spouses to agree to divide assets if divorce were to ever occur.
“Alimony,” also known as “spousal support,” is the amount, in essence, that the higher-earning ex-spouse has to pay the lesser earning spouse after a divorce, in addition to child support when children are involved.
The formula considers the couple’s financial status:
- of how much money each person could reasonably earn every month (for instance, the court looks at the occupation of the spouse, as a homemaker’s salary would differ vastly from a professional’s salary),
- what the reasonable expenses are going to be for each of them, and,
- and whether each spouse could go forward with a lifestyle somewhat close to what the couple had before they split.
Hiring the right alimony divorce attorney could zealously argue for the fairest distribution of wages for the weaker side in a marriage, or on the contrary defend the stronger spouse from having to be made weaker as a result of a scheming ploy by the other to seize assets without diligently seeking to find sufficient income on their own.
As explained on Nolo.com, when one spouse is significantly better off compared to the other, the weaker or lesser earning spouse can ask the court, to make the burden of the divorce and loss of combined income to be divided equally, factoring in the fact that the lesser-earning spouse is typically the wife with children to support.
In a given case, an even-split of the couple’s monthly gross income would work a hardship, given that much of the gross income would go to supporting the children; because of this, the lesser-earning spouse could be entitled to an amount of spousal support, of roughly the difference between living expenses and childhood rearing expenses. Such expenses are also referred to under Texas law as “minimum reasonable needs” of the supported spouse.
However, the court is always mindful that such aid for the supported spouse should not deprive of the higher-earning spouses’ income to be less than 40%, with exceptions that apply for limited circumstances. This is referred to as the “40% rule.”
A skilled Texas divorce lawyer who specializes in alimony and palimony disputes after divorce or separation, will be able to persuasively argue for a just outcome for the weaker spouse, or higher-earning spouse to not be deprived of the standard of life they fought hard to maintain the result of ambition and smart investment. With the right alimony and palimony lawyer at your side, it is more likely that you can get the just result—whether money to pay the mortgage beyond and above child rearing expenses; or money to continue to buy assets that bring personal pride and satisfaction and enjoy a meaningful career.
Factors Making a Solid Case for Alimony, or Exposing a One-Sided Spousal Income and Property Division
According to Orsinger Nelson Downing Anderson Family Law, there is a relatively straight-forward process for an ex-spouse seeking to be supported by paying spouse after the divorce or separation relating to the two concepts of “contractual alimony” and “spousal maintenance.”
Both concepts are straightforward and differ only in terms of the procedure of determining eligibility.
“Contractual alimony” is a voluntary written arrangement that occurs before the divorce is finalized by the spouses dividing both community property and separate property where one spouse has the other agree to how assets are divided, much like a “pre-nup” that takes place typically just before marriage.
On the other hand, court-ordered “spousal maintenance” support payments are a court-ordered remedy to address problems after divorce where one spouse is suddenly placed in an unstable and vulnerable financial position for a period of time, often having to raise children and work, without enough income and a previous dependence on the paying spouse to survive during the marriage.
The spousal maintenance formula the court uses which an experienced Texas alimony lawyer would know well is:
- Proof that a spouse will lack sufficient property, including the community property, which is also referred to as property held jointly by a married couple, such that the spouse can no longer meet minimum reasonable needs.
Or proof of at least one of the following:
- A 10-year marriage existed depriving the other spouse from securing employment to support basic needs; or
- There is a disabled child in the marriage and the spouse is without the means to provide for him or her;
- The other spouse is disabled and cannot earn enough to support their family; bad behavior justifying an award of money to the spouse within the last two years due to an act of family violence.
On the side of the lesser-earning spouse or greater-earning spouse, a skilled Texas alimony attorney would be a reliable resource to use to be advised on these topics when one spouse is considering divorcing the other, or knows of the marriage starting to crumble. By analyzing all pertinent legal issues and employing all available legal strategies created by the legislature, Supreme Court of the state of Texas, and federal courts, the destitute spouse could have a more stable financial future thanks to negotiating partner to help create a fair contractual arrangement regarding financial resources, or with zealous advocacy to guarantee the maximum amount using the formulas calculating court-ordered spousal maintenance.
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According to Détente Family Mediation, there are certain tips spouses may use to get the desired outcome to maximize or minimize the paying spouse’s obligation to the requesting spouse following divorce.
- Failing to look for work hoping that a spouse will receive financial backing in a divorce settlement. Texas Family Code Section 8.053.
- Making false or misleading statements in seeking to obtain unjustified alimony, or to hide assets to avoid paying alimony due. Texas Penal Code Section 32.46
As not every married couple’s finances are alike, with some spouses more cooperative and amicable than other spouses in other marriages that end in bitter dispute and rivalry, an experienced Texas alimony or palimony lawyer will have the know-how to determine the best route to take to bring a spotlight on dishonesty committed by either spouse seeking to get more benefits than they are legally entitled through trickery, or delude the court from thinking they have less money than they actually have to not have to pay the other spouse.
Legal Advice: Why Do Spouses Need to Hire Texas Palimony and Alimony Lawyers?
As many Texas lawyers have valuable legal advice and legal services to offer at high prices, there are some concerns likely how much a palimony or alimony lawyer is worth as a personal advocate for a divorcee. Based family law nuances in Texas, evaluating a spouse’s finances, predicting their earning capacity, monitoring the needs of the children to adequately take care of disabled spouse and children —are undoubtedly priceless. Notwithstanding the incredibly high average rate of Texas lawyers and law practices, who can charge between reportedly $130 to $450 per hour, per Clio.com’s review of the attorney-client relationship fee agreements—it makes sense ultimately to retain a alimony lawyer in Texas.
Based on the skill and years of experience of the Texas alimony and palimony lawyer handling the spouse’s case, you can recover greater amounts if the lawyer stays up to date with the everchanging landscape of the Texas family code.
Why Should I Hire a Skilled Texas Alimony or Palimony Law Firm Following My Divorce?
Given the rise of divorce, its lack of stigma among many and the relative ease of access to quick and affordable divorces, it is ever as important to have a skilled Texas alimony lawyer who can distinguish him or herself from others in the field.
Whereas a many Texas law firms may be generally knowledgeable about how to represent a divorced spouse, a particularly skilled and incredibly talented Texas family law attorney will be intimately familiar with the most recent decisions in Texas family law alimony decisions, ready and willing to use whatever tools in his or her arsenal to prosecute or defend the case.
Many top-rated law firms specialize in these cases, including Dallas-based family law firm Mclure Law Group, Austin-based The Law Offices of Eric M. Willie, P.C., among others in the Houston, Austin and surrounding areas, offer an initial free consultation, usually with a disclaimer to being obligated to provide representation, to help strategize your best course of action during a time of stress and uncertainty about the future.
For such a Texas law firm competent in spousal support and spousal maintenance laws, an alimony or court-ordered spousal maintenance specialist will ask you, the client, questions to maximize the value of your alimony or minimize liability to the other spouse in exploring your legal options—especially for the vulnerable spouse with more than one child of the marriage, or including dependent children who may be diagnosed with a mental disability, or an executive in the Dallas or Houston area with valuable real estate, or greater assets to protect. Such representation often necessitates employing novel legal arguments and estate planning for fundamentally changing the law to benefit you, the client.
In any case, you should be prepared to create a narrative of facts detailing everything that you remembered before, during and after the incident leading up to the dispute, including keeping meticulous records of expenses made during the insurance litigation, or in the case of the responsible merchant, the costs to defend.
Forming an Attorney-Client Relationship: Call a Houston Alimony Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case and Odds of Victory for Yourself and Your Family!
Regardless of how a spouse is classified, either as supported or paying throughout the duration of the marriage, having the right attorney on your side can navigate the vast and ever-changing landscape of Texas alimony and palimony law and ever evolving case precedent. The attorney-client relationship forms upon consultation when you consider hiring the attorney in Dallas or other surrounding areas, or seek legal advice. Once formed, this relationship helps prepare the client to bring a winning case to receive a fair distribution of alimony and child custody including child support when children are involved.
Whether you are looking for access to a Houston, Dallas or San Antonio-based alimony and divorce lawyer, Lawsuit.org will help you pinpoint one in the right practice area by directing you to the divorce lawyer’s phone number, offering a free consultation to obtain the just results that either spouse needs.