Unlike in other states, Texas expects its people to work for their own living expenses. Alimony payments were formerly used as anti-welfare monies paid to the spouse so that he/she does not become dependent on the state for their living expenses. Over the years, there have been numerous proposals to change this rules but they have always been voted down. Alimony in Texas is called spousal maintenance. It is the small stipend that a high income spouse pays to a low income spouse for her comfortable living.
To get alimony in Texas, your Houston divorce lawyer must argue your case very well. The only people who are guaranteed the alimony are those who have been married for more than 10 years, or those who have some form of incapacitation and thus cannot work to earn a living. To complicate matters even more, these alimonies are capped at $2,500 per month. Note that this is the maximum amount you can get. It is not a guarantee that you will get the maximum legal alimony amounts. This is used to discourage ‘gold diggers’ who marry rich men/women in order to take their wealth without working a single day of their lives. The alimony payments, even if granted, can only be paid to the divorced spouse for a maximum of 3 years. After these years, the payments will cease. The moment an alimony beneficially gets a minimum payment job, the court may decide to reduce or eliminate the payments altogether. Texas is unlike other states and usually frowns on commercial divorces. It tries as much as possible to make the divorce law as strict as possible so that it attracts only genuine cases of disagreements in marriages.
The law however allows contractual alimony. This is a concept where a high income spouse may agree to support the low income spouse usually to avoid taxes or for the custodial parent to relax the visitation rules. Although this is somehow ‘unethical’ the law allows the parent with more money to buy his way into more regular access to the children. A Houston divorce lawyer should be smart enough to advise his client to exploit this loophole in the law.
Texan legislators have time and again rejected attempts to water down this law. This has made Texas one of the lowest divorce rate states in the United States. Despite these attempts to minimize broken marriages, divorce rate is on the increase. An average Houston divorce lawyer records more than 3 divorces every year. These statistics make the fathers of Texan law turn in their graves. Although spousal support is important to maintain the standard of living a former spouse has been used to, it sometimes become unfair to the paying spouse since the recipient is not barred to remarry and get additional support from the second marriage. It is expected that future legislations will seal these loopholes that have made genuine cases of divorce look like Hollywood circus. Divorce attorneys in Texas have been waiting for this to happen for so long.
Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer, who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 11 years and has tried over 100 cases. He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts. Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.
Michael Busby Jr.
2909 Hillcroft Suite 350
Houston, Texas 77057
Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com