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Austin, TX Child Support Attorney

Midland County divorce attorney for child support and spousal maintenance

Lawyers for Spousal Support in Divorce Cases in Travis County and Williamson County

Getting a divorce can involve a number of financial difficulties for both parties. The end of a marriage will require spouses to separate their lives from each other, and depending on the income each spouse earns and how finances were handled during the marriage, this may place one spouse at a disadvantage. In some cases, spousal support may be ordered to help a person meet their needs during divorce and become self-supporting after the divorce is complete. In addition, if a divorcing couple has children, one parent will typically be required to pay child support to the other parent. When addressing child support and spousal support, a skilled family law attorney can ensure that all factors are taken into consideration and make sure support is determined fairly.

With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, the attorneys of Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. have represented clients in a wide variety of divorce and family law cases, and we can help you understand your rights regarding financial support. We will help you find a solution that protects your financial interests, and we will advocate on your and your children's behalf to ensure that you will be able to move forward with your lives successfully.

Spousal Support in Texas Divorce Cases

Texas is a "community property" state, which means that all of the assets a married couple owns, including income earned by either spouse during the marriage, will be divided in a fair and just manner during divorce, and each spouse will usually receive as close to 50% of their marital property as possible. Because of this, it is usually presumed that a person will have enough financial resources to meet their needs following divorce, and additional support paid by one spouse to the other is not necessary. However, couples may enter into a voluntary agreement in which contractual alimony will be paid by one spouse after the divorce is complete.

In some cases, temporary spousal support may be ordered to address a spouse's needs during the divorce process, such as to make mortgage or utility payments on a couple's marital home. If there are extraordinary circumstances, the court may also order one party to pay spousal maintenance following the divorce. A spouse may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance if the marriage lasted at least 10 years, and they are unable to earn enough money to meet their minimum reasonable needs; if they have a mental or physical disability that has affected their ability to earn an income; if a parent has custody of a child of the marriage who has special needs, and caring for this child prevents them from earning sufficient income; or the other spouse has been convicted of family violence against the spouse or their child either during the divorce or within the previous two years.

If spousal maintenance is ordered, the court will determine a reasonable amount that will be paid and the duration that these payments will last. The maximum amount that can be ordered per month is $5,000 or 20% of the obligor's gross income, whichever is lower. Typically, for marriages of less than 20 years, spousal maintenance will be paid for no more than five years. For marriages of 20-30 years, maintenance may be paid for up to seven years, and for marriages of 30 years or more, maintenance may last for up to 10 years. In cases involving a spouse or a child with physical or mental disabilities, maintenance may be paid for as long as the spouse meets the eligibility requirements to receive support.

Calculating Child Support

Divorced parents or unmarried parents who are no longer living together are required to pay financial support to meet their children's needs. When addressing child custody and conservatorship, one parent will be named as the "primary conservator" who will have primary physical custody of the child or children. The other parent, known as the "possessory conservator," will usually pay child support to the primary conservator.

Texas law provides guidelines for calculating the minimum amount of child support a parent will pay. First, a parent's "net resources" will be calculated by taking all wages and income the person earns and deducting expenses such as federal income taxes, social security taxes, union dues, and the costs of medical or dental insurance or other medical support provided to the child. Child support will then be calculated as a percentage of the net resources, based on the number of children:

  • 1 child: 20%
  • 2 children: 25%
  • 3 children: 30%
  • 4 children: 35%
  • 5 children: 40%
  • 6 or more children: at least 40%, or a higher amount set by the court

These guidelines apply to up to $7,500 of the obligor's net monthly resources. If a person earns more than that amount, child support will only be calculated using the first $7,500 of their net resources. The percentages used to calculate child support may be adjusted if the obligor is supporting children from a previous relationship.

Contact Our Hays County Divorce Lawyers

With the right attorney on your side during your divorce, you can make sure all applicable factors are considered when addressing child support or spousal maintenance. At Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC., we will provide you with dedicated representation, and we will advocate for your rights and interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our office today at 512-474-2222 or 432-570-1499 to set up your free consultation. We serve clients in Austin, Midland, Georgetown, Travis County, Hays County, Midland County, and Williamson County. Hablamos Español.

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