Guadalupe County Spousal Support Lawyers

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Guadalupe County Spousal Support Lawyers

Spousal Support in Guadalupe County

In Guadalupe County, there are three types of spousal support: temporary spousal support, spousal maintenance, and alimony. These three categories each have distinct strategic uses, with temporary spousal support available during the divorce proceedings, spousal maintenance provided post-divorce under strict legal conditions, and alimony as a contractual agreement between the spouses. The law allows for the enforcement of spousal maintenance through wage withholding and imprisonment for non-compliance, whereas alimony cannot be enforced in this manner.

Deciding the type of spousal support suitable for your situation can be complex, but our team of experienced divorce lawyers at Soyars & Morgan Law in Guadalupe County can assist you in this process. We will collaborate with you to understand your choices and design a plan that safeguards your interests and meets your goals.

Temporary Spousal Support in Guadalupe County

In Guadalupe County, each spouse has a legal duty to support the other, which is commonly known as spousal support. In this context, the Court may issue provisional orders requiring spousal support payments during the divorce process. In Guadalupe County, the person applying for temporary spousal support must not dispute the validity of the marriage. The purpose of temporary spousal support in Guadalupe County is to cover the applicant’s spouse’s necessary expenses until the final decree is issued. The determination of temporary spousal support amount in Guadalupe County is based on the extent of the applicant’s needs during the lawsuit and the other spouse’s ability to pay, as per In re Fuentes.

While determining whether to grant temporary spousal support, the court considers evidence of each spouse’s salaries, income sources, assets, and past obligations, along with factors impacting earning capacity, such as health, age, and education. The temporary spousal support terminates upon the issuance of a final decree. The court may take into account any failure to comply with temporary spousal support orders when deciding on the final equitable property division between the spouses.

In Guadalupe County, a spouse might be eligible for temporary spousal support but not for spousal maintenance since the eligibility criteria differ. Strategically, it’s important to note that a spouse might try to delay the divorce process to continue receiving favorable support payments that would not be available post-divorce. In such cases, the court may consider excessive spousal support payments as property awarded to the party prolonging the litigation during the final property division, as outlined in Hudson v. Hudson.

If you are considering divorce, you should contact us.
Soyars & Morgan Law, P.C. has years of experience dealing with
family law issues in Guadalupe County.

Spousal Maintenance in Guadalupe County

In Texas, spousal maintenance and temporary spousal support are distinct. The former, as explained earlier, is intended to cover a spouse’s necessary expenses during the divorce process. On the other hand, spousal maintenance is a monetary payment from one spouse to the other after the divorce has been finalized. It involves periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the sustenance of the other.

Determining Eligibility for Spousal Maintenance in Guadalupe County

In Guadalupe County, the prerequisites for spousal maintenance are more stringent than those for temporary spousal support. The court may order a spouse to pay spousal maintenance if the other spouse will lack sufficient property, including their separate property, post-divorce AND one of the following applies:

Family Violence. The spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted or received deferred adjudication for a family violence crime committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse’s child. The crime must have occurred (a) within 2 years before the divorce suit was filed, or (b) while the divorce was ongoing, or (c) more than 2 years before the divorce suit was filed.

The spouse seeking support must also meet one of the following conditions:

    1. Need-Based. Married for at least ten years and unable to earn enough income to meet the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.
    2. Spousal Disability. Incapable of earning a sufficient income to cater to the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs due to a debilitating physical or mental disability; or
    3. Child Disability. Is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who, due to a physical or mental disability, necessitates substantial care and personal supervision, hindering the spouse from earning a sufficient income to meet their minimum reasonable needs. Refer to 8.051 of the Texas Family Code

A spouse’s eligibility for alimony is determined at the time of divorce, regardless of the spouse’s potential to meet their “minimum reasonable needs” in the future through further education or training. In the Slicker v. Slicker case, a court determined that a spouse seeking spousal support who had been out of the workforce since 1974 and had only enrolled in a couple of computer courses lacked sufficient earning capacity. Similarly, in the Deltuva v. Deltuva case, the court found that a spouse seeking maintenance, despite having a real estate license, lacked sufficient earning capacity because it would take approximately a year to get her real estate business running.

Why Choose Soyars & Morgan?

  • Direct Access. Our Guadalupe County spousal support attorneys endeavor to respond promptly to each client. You’ll have direct access to your team of attorneys, enabling you to get answers when you need them.
  • Transparency. Establishing trust with your lawyer requires transparency and honesty. You will always be updated about your case status at every stage.
  • Personalized Approach. Our team understands that every case is unique. Your strategy will be customized to your and your family’s goals. From start to finish, Soyars & Morgan Law will manage your case.

When you choose Soyars & Morgan Law, you can rest assured knowing that your case will be handled by our fully qualified Guadalupe County spousal support attorneys. Allow our team to assist you with your legal needs.”

Meet Our Spousal Support Lawyers in Guadalupe County


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Ida R.


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Decoding Spousal Support in Texas: Essential Questions Addressed

What is the maximum award for Spousal Maintenance?

As per the Texas Family Code 8.055, there is a defined limit on the highest amount a court can instruct for spousal maintenance. Effective from September 1, 2011, the defined ceiling is either: (a) $5,000 every month or (b) 20% of the mean monthly income of the spouse, whichever of the two is lesser. The court’s ruling on the amount is generally guided by the spouse’s monthly expenses, income, and any financial shortfall, but the objective isn’t necessarily to fully eliminate this shortfall.

How long does spousal support last in Guadalupe County?

The period for which one can receive spousal support depends on the length of the marriage unless the spouse seeking maintenance is disabled or is responsible for caring for a disabled child. This is as per section 8.054 of the Texas Family Code. The court’s objective is to minimize the maintenance to the briefest possible period that enables the spouse to earn enough to meet their “minimum reasonable needs.” Exceptions are made when the spouse’s ability to earn is substantially hindered due to physical or mental disability, childcare duties, or other major obstacles.

In cases where a spouse or child is disabled, the court can direct indefinite maintenance provided eligibility criteria are satisfied. Consequently, the phrasing in the final decree is critical as it determines whether the spouse can request continued maintenance under disability criteria or if the duration will be fixed under family violence and need-based criteria.

Is it possible to terminate spousal support?

Yes, the duty to provide spousal maintenance ceases with the death of either party, the remarriage of the obligee, or when the obligee cohabits on a permanent basis with another person in a dating or romantic relationship. This is stated in Texas Family Code section 8.506.

Can Spousal Support be modified?

Indeed, amendments to spousal maintenance orders can be affected by submitting a motion with the court that issued the order. The party seeking the modification must demonstrate substantial and material changes in the conditions of either party, as detailed in Texas Family Code section 8.506.

How do I demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances to modify my spousal support?

To establish a substantial shift in conditions, the petitioning party must present proof of the current financial situation of both parties and the financial conditions when the prevailing order was issued. Absence of evidence of earlier financial conditions may result in the refusal of the modification request since the court wouldn’t possess sufficient information to gauge a substantial change. It’s crucial to submit your modification request promptly when a change in circumstances transpires, as the modification cannot be enforced retroactively to payments accrued prior to the filing.

Can Spousal Support be enforced?

Absolutely, if the spousal support order aligns with Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code, it can be enforced via contempt charges, monetary judgments, and wage garnishment. These orders bear more force than contractual alimony agreements, which cannot be enforced via contempt or wage garnishment.

Alimony Considerations in Guadalupe County

Contrary to spousal maintenance, alimony arises from a voluntary commitment to provide financial aid to a former spouse, rather than a court mandate. As a rule, collecting alimony proves more challenging than obtaining spousal maintenance. An ex-spouse neglecting their alimony duties can solely be held accountable for contract violation, allowing the other party merely to pursue a monetary judgment against them. However, this strategy may prove unfruitful if the party in default lacks sufficient assets to implement the judgment. There are no penalties like contempt of court or imprisonment for neglecting alimony payments.

In circumstances where a party possesses significant assets that can be appropriated to meet a judgment, alimony could be a valuable instrument in a divorce proceeding, particularly when factors like asset distribution, income potential, or other elements complicate a fair division of marital property. Alimony typically becomes relevant when there exist significant, challenging-to-liquidate assets (for instance, real estate), coupled with a stable income, but a deficiency in significant cash reserves.

A court order that includes a promise to provide spousal maintenance or support, but falls short of the legal benchmarks for spousal maintenance, results in a contractual obligation rather than a judicial one. This means it cannot be enforced through contempt or income deduction.

Prior to settling on an alimony agreement, it is advisable to seek the counsel of a seasoned divorce lawyer who can help construct the agreement to safeguard your interests and offer guidance to evade future issues.