Beaumont Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Attorney
Spousal Maintenance Defined
Spousal support is an arrangement in which one spouse provides financial assistance to the other during and/or following a divorce proceeding.
Qualifying for Spousal Maintenance
In order to qualify for spousal maintenance in Texas, the party seeking assistance must not possess sufficient property at the time of the divorce. In other words, if the spouse requesting support does not have enough money and/or property to provide for basic needs, he or she may pursue a spousal maintenance arrangement. Additionally, one party may seek financial assistance if the other is convicted of a violent crime against a member of the family, or if spouses were married for 10 or more years and the spouse seeking support is unable to earn enough income to provide for his or her basic needs. Lastly, a person may seek spousal maintenance if he or she has custody of a child from the marriage who requires special care and/or supervision due to a mental or physical disability.
Factors a Texas Judge Will Consider When Ordering Spousal Maintenance
When making a determination regarding spousal maintenance, a Texas judge will consider each spouse’s income, education and employment skills, the length of the marriage, whether or not either spouse is paying child support, the property each spouse contributed to the marriage, any history or pattern violence on the part of either spouse, any acts of adultery or cruelty on the part of either spouse and whether or not the spouse seeking support contributed to the education or training of the other spouse.
In the state of Texas, the physical custody of the child – (i.e. the amount of time a parent spends with his or her child) dictates who will make child support payments. While a court may order either or both parents to support a child financially, in most cases the non-custodial parent — i.e. the parent who spends the least amount of time with the child — ends up paying child support.
Modifying a Child Support Arrangement
Once a Texas child support order is in place, you may still ask a court to review the arrangement at any time if either party undergoes a significant change in circumstances. Typically, a significant change is one in which your monthly/annual income drops dramatically (i.e. losing your job), though there can be other reasons for seeking to modify the child support arrangement. Speak with an experienced Texas family attorney today to learn more.
Modifying the Amount of Child Support
A Texas judge will assume that the number established by the guidelines of the child support arrangement is appropriate. However, there are certain situations in which the amount set forth by the guidelines is unfair. If you think support should be increased or decreased before a court issues the order, you may ask the court for an adjustment. Common reasons for seeking a modification include your ability to financially support the child, your financial resources and debts, the amount of time the child spends with each party, child care expenses, college expenses, cost of the child’s travel between parents and significant educational and/or medical expenses.