New Braunfels Spousal Support Lawyers

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New Braunfels Spousal Support Lawyers

Spousal Support in New Braunfels

Spousal support in New Braunfels can be divided into three categories: temporary spousal support, spousal maintenance, and alimony. Each type serves a strategic purpose. Temporary spousal support may be granted during the divorce process. Spousal maintenance refers to post-divorce financial support, and in Texas, eligibility for such support is subject to strict legal criteria. If a spouse qualifies for spousal maintenance, nonpayment by the other spouse can be enforced through wage garnishment and incarceration.

On the other hand, alimony is a voluntary contractual agreement between spouses that is not legally mandated and cannot be enforced through income withholding or jail time. While alimony can be beneficial, enforcing it can be challenging if the financially well-off spouse refuses to comply with the agreement.

Temporary Spousal Support in New Braunfels

In New Braunfels, each spouse has a legal duty to support the other, which is referred to as spousal support. As part of this responsibility, the court may issue temporary orders requiring spousal support payments during the divorce proceedings. In Texas, the person seeking temporary spousal support must not dispute the validity of the marriage. Temporary spousal support in New Braunfels aims to address the essential expenses of the petitioner’s spouse until a final decree is issued. The amount of temporary spousal support is determined by (1) the petitioner’s inability to meet their necessities during the proceedings, and (2) the other spouse’s capacity to pay. In re Fuentes.

When deciding whether to grant temporary spousal support, the court must consider evidence of each spouse’s income, assets, and existing liabilities, as well as factors affecting their earning potential, such as health, age, and education. Temporary spousal support terminates upon the issuance of a final decree. Payments made during the divorce process and a spouse’s failure to comply with temporary spousal support orders may be taken into account by the court when determining the final equitable division of property between the spouses.

In New Braunfels, a spouse may be eligible for temporary spousal support but not spousal maintenance, as the eligibility criteria for each differ. It is crucial, from a strategic perspective, to be aware that a spouse may attempt to prolong the divorce process to continue receiving favorable support payments that would not be available after the divorce. In such cases, the court may consider disproportionate spousal support payments as property awarded to the responsible party during the final property division. 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 New Braunfels.

New Braunfels Spousal Maintenance

In New Braunfels, spousal maintenance and provisional spousal support are not synonymous. As described previously, temporary spousal support in New Braunfels is intended to cover a spouse’s necessary expenses during the pendency of the divorce. Spousal maintenance is a financial award given to one spouse after a divorce is granted, consisting of periodic payments from the potential income of the other spouse to support that spouse.

Determining Qualifications for Spousal Support in New Braunfels

In New Braunfels, the prerequisites for spousal maintenance are considerably more stringent than those for temporary spousal support. The court may mandate one spouse to pay spousal maintenance if the other spouse will not have adequate property, including their separate property, following the divorce AND one of the following conditions is met:

Family Violence. A spouse from whom maintenance is sought has been convicted or granted deferred adjudication for a family violence offense committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse’s child. The offense must have occurred (a) within 2 years before the filing of the divorce suit or (b) while the divorce was pending, or…

The spouse seeking support must meet one of the following criteria:

    1. Need-Based. Married for at least ten years and unable to generate enough income to satisfy the spouse’s minimum reasonable requirements.
    2. Spousal Disability. Incapacitated by a physical or mental disability, preventing the spouse from earning sufficient income to meet their minimum reasonable requirements; or
    3. Child Disability. Serving as the custodian of a child of the marriage, regardless of age, who requires substantial care and personal supervision due to a physical or mental disability, which prevents the spouse from earning enough income to fulfill their minimum reasonable requirements. Texas Family Code 8.051

Eligibility for alimony is determined during the divorce, irrespective of whether the recipient will be capable of meeting their “minimum reasonable needs” in the future through additional training or education. One court ruled that a spouse seeking spousal support, who had been out of the workforce since 1974 and completed one computer course while enrolling in another, lacked the necessary skills to earn a sufficient income. See Slicker v. Slicker. Another court found that a spouse seeking support, who acquired a real estate license but needed approximately one year to establish her real estate business, did not have adequate earning capacity. See Deltuva v. Deltuva.

Why Select Soyars & Morgan?

  • Unhindered communication with our legal professionals. Our New Braunfels spousal support lawyers are committed to delivering prompt and efficient responses to each client. You will have direct contact with your dedicated spousal support legal team, ensuring you get the answers you require when you need them.
  • Openness. Honesty and transparency are vital for building trust with your attorney. We guarantee that you will be consistently informed about the progress of your case at every stage.
  • Customized approach. Our team understands that each case is unique. Your strategy will be designed to align with your and your family’s goals. Soyars & Morgan Law takes care of your case from start to finish.

By engaging the services of Soyars & Morgan Law, you can be confident that our New Braunfels spousal support lawyers possess the expertise and qualifications needed to manage your case effectively.

Meet Our Team of New Braunfels Spousal Support Lawyers


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New Braunfels Spousal Support and Spousal Maintenance FAQ’s

How much Spousal Maintenance can you get?

The amount that a court can order a spouse to pay in spousal maintenance has been capped statutorily under Texas Family Code §8.055.  After September 1, 2011, a court may not order maintenance that requires the obligor to pay monthly more than the lesser of: (a) $5,000 or (b) 20 percent of the spouse’s average monthly income. Courts frequently consider the requesting spouses’ monthly expenses, income, and any shortfall in determining how much to award in spousal maintenance, however, a court is not required to entirely eliminate a shortfall.

How long can I receive Spousal Maintenance?

The maximum duration of spousal maintenance in New Braunfels depends on the length of the marriage, UNLESS the spouse seeking maintenance is incapacitated or unable to work due to the responsibility of caring for a disabled child. Family Code Section 8.054.

Maximum Duration for Spousal Maintenance

According to Texas Family Code 8.054, the court must set the shortest possible period that enables the spouse seeking maintenance to generate enough income to cover their own “minimum reasonable needs.” This is except when the spouse’s capacity is significantly or completely diminished for one of the following reasons: (a) a mental or physical disability of the spouse requesting maintenance, (b) obligations as the caregiver of an infant or young child of the marriage, or (c) duties as a member of the armed forces

If a spouse or child has a disability, the “shortest reasonable period” requirement is waived, and the court may order maintenance for as long as the spouse continues to fulfill eligibility criteria. In this case, it is essential that the attorney carefully drafts the final decree, as its language will determine whether the obligee may seek ongoing maintenance under the disability-based criteria or if durations will be limited under the family violence and need-based criteria.

Can Spousal Support be terminated?

Yes, the obligation to provide spousal support ends upon the death of either party or when the recipient remarries. If the court concludes that the recipient lives with another individual in a romantic or dating relationship within a permanent household on a continuous basis, the support obligation must be terminated, as per Texas Family Code §8.506.

Can Spousal Maintenance be enforced?

Yes, if the spousal maintenance orders comply with Texas Family Code Chapter 8 requirements can be accomplished through contempt (jail) proceedings, money judgments, and income withholding. Spousal maintenance orders that comply with Texas Family Code Chapter 8 are better than contractual alimony orders that are not enforceable by contempt (jail) proceedings or income withholding.

Is it possible to modify Spousal Support?

Yes, modifications to spousal support orders can be requested by filing a motion to modify with the court that issued the original order. The party seeking the modification must show a material and substantial change in circumstances for either party, following the criteria outlined in Texas Family Code §8.506.

How can I prove a significant and substantial change in circumstances to modify Spousal Support?

To demonstrate a significant and substantial change in circumstances, the party seeking the modification must present evidence of (1) the current financial status of both parties and (2) the financial conditions of the parties at the time the original support order was issued. If a party fails to provide information on the previous financial situation of the parties, the court will not have a basis for determining the substantial and significant change requirement, leading to the rejection of the modification request. It is essential to note that a modification cannot retroactively apply to payments accrued before filing the modification motion; therefore, it is crucial to submit your modification motion as soon as the circumstances necessitating the change arise.

Is it possible to enforce Spousal Support?

Yes, as long as spousal support orders comply with the requirements of Texas Family Code Chapter 8, enforcement can be achieved through contempt (jail) proceedings, monetary judgments, and income withholding. Spousal support orders that adhere to Texas Family Code Chapter 8 offer greater benefits than contractual alimony orders, which cannot be enforced by contempt (jail) proceedings or income withholding.

Alimony Considerations in New Braunfels

Alimony refers to a contractual agreement for providing spousal support, rather than a court-ordered obligation. Consequently, alimony is less favorable than spousal maintenance in terms of enforceability since it is easier to collect spousal maintenance according to the law. If a former spouse fails to make their spousal maintenance payments, they can be held in contempt of court and subjected to imprisonment and fines. On the other hand, non-payment of alimony is considered a breach of contract claim. This difference is crucial since the aggrieved party can only obtain a monetary judgment against the defaulting party. If the defaulting party lacks sufficient assets for the aggrieved party to enforce the judgment, there is no viable method for compensating the aggrieved party. Unlike spousal maintenance, the law does not permit the enforcement of unpaid alimony through contempt of court or imprisonment.

On the other hand, if a party has adequate assets that can be seized to satisfy a monetary judgment, alimony can be an effective means of resolving divorce disputes when asset distribution, earning potential, or other factors complicate the fair division of marital assets. Alimony is often a viable option when the parties have significant assets (such as real estate) that are not easily liquidated but generate consistent income without substantial cash reserves.

When a court order incorporates an agreement for spousal maintenance or spousal support but fails to meet the legal requirements for spousal maintenance, the agreement establishes a debt enforceable as a contract. However, it DOES NOT CREATE A COURT-MANDATED OBLIGATION that can be enforced by contempt or income.

Before establishing an alimony agreement, it is crucial to consult an experienced divorce attorney who can structure the arrangement to protect your interests and provide guidance on avoiding potential complications in the future.