Tag Archives: spousal support

What to Do If Your Ex Stops Paying Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is critical for many after a divorce. Spousal support may be one of the ways you support yourself financially as you move forward. Yet, what happens if your ex-spouse stops paying?

What You Can Do If Your Ex Stops Paying Spousal Maintenance

We recommend calling a family law attorney who can act on your behalf. An attorney will guide you through the steps required to obtain what’s owed to you. Without an attorney, you run the risk of filing incomplete documentation which can delay your payments further.

Filing a Motion

First, you and your attorney must determine why your ex stopped paying maintenance payments. For example, if your ex-spouse lost their job or suffered an injury resulting in unemployment, the court may decide to reduce the amount owed each month or suspend payments until they’re able to pay.

If your ex-spouse simply refuses to pay, your attorney can help you file a motion with the court. The motion will ask the court to enforce an order stating your ex-spouse must make payments now and for the foreseeable future.

If the court rules in favor of the motion, your ex will be forced to make the payments immediately. If they don’t have the funds to make the payments, the court may choose to withhold a part of your ex’s income or award you with other assets.

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817-799-7125 – Has your ex stopped paying their court-ordered spousal maintenance? There’s help available to you. To learn more, visit us today.

Failure to Comply

If your ex still refuses to comply with the court order, they can be held in contempt of court. Contempt can result in hefty fines and even jail time if your ex refuses to make amends.

A Note About Contractual Alimony

Spousal maintenance is court-ordered. Contractual alimony is support that’s voluntarily agreed upon by you and your spouse. If for any reason your ex stops paying contractual alimony, they can’t be held in contempt of court. If your alimony is contractual, it’s even more important to contact an attorney to discuss your options.

Call Schneider Law Firm Today for Help

If your ex-spouse has stopped paying spousal maintenance, please reach out for help. To learn more about alimony and maintenance, give our Arlington office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

Spousal Maintenance in Texas Divorces

Divorcing spouses often worry how they will make ends meet. They know the income that once supported one household must now be divided to support two, and they’re unsure what impact that will have on their finances. 

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we usually talk with our divorce clients in detail about their financial situations to make sure their interests are protected. Part of that conversation is talking about spousal maintenance (which our clients often refer to as “alimony” or “spousal support”).

Texas Courts May Order Spousal Maintenance in Some Cases

In our state, Texas Family Code Section 8.051 says that Texas courts may order spousal maintenance for the spouse seeking maintenance if that spouse will lack sufficient property to provide for their minimum reasonable needs when the marriage ends. The spouse seeking maintenance must meet additional criteria, including:

  • Having an incapacitating mental or physical disability: Medical records are often required to prove the existence of the disability if it’s disputed.
  • Having been married for 10 or more years and now lacking the ability to earn sufficient income: This often applies to housewives who have spent more than a decade at home taking care of the children and running the household.
  • Being the custodian of a child of the marriage who requires significant care because of mental or physical disability: The child can be any age, from just born to a grown adult. Like with an adult’s disability, medical records are often required to prove the disability if it’s disputed.

In some cases, courts can order a spouse to pay spousal maintenance when that spouse has been convicted of a crime that constitutes domestic violence against their spouse or children. Several different crimes constitute domestic violence, including sexual assault.

Spousal Maintenance in Texas Divorces | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-799-7125 – Divorcing spouses often worry about how they will make ends meet. Here’s what you need to know about Texas spousal maintenance law.

“Minimum Reasonable Needs:” What Does That Mean?

The law says that a person is eligible for spousal maintenance when they lack property to provide for their “minimum reasonable needs.” But, what does that mean? There is no set amount. Instead, minimum reasonable needs are determined on a case-by-case basis. What may be reasonable for one person is different for another. In many cases, attorneys can guide their clients through putting together a reasonable budget based on their history and their predicted needs after a divorce.

How Is the Spousal Maintenance Amount Determined?

The amount of spousal maintenance that someone pays or receives is determined on a case-by-case basis. While you might be tempted to compare yourself to a couple you know or read about in the news, it’s best to talk with a lawyer directly about your own situation.

If courts order spousal maintenance after divorce, you should know that there is a cap on the monthly payment. A spouse will pay no more than the lesser of $5,000 or 20% of their average monthly gross income. This is different from child support, which courts calculate based on net income.

There are tax implications, too. Spousal support is paid from post-tax money. So, the spouse who receives it does not have to pay tax on it. This can have huge tax implications.

Talk With an Attorney About Spousal Maintenance

Because spousal maintenance is determined on a case-by-case basis, it’s best to talk with a lawyer about your own situation. Start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125. Consultations with our attorneys are confidential.

Sources: 

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.8.htm https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.71.htm#71.004