What Is the Cap on Spouse Maintenance in Texas?

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is often a point of contention in divorces. Although both sides can negotiate the amount that is paid to the recipient, a cap or limitation set by the state’s laws will decide the most a person can receive. Your divorce attorney will discuss the cap with you, but it is a good idea to understand the cap amount and what factors influence the amount that is owed to a recipient before starting the divorce process.

What Is the Cap Amount?

In the state of Texas, the cap on spousal maintenance is stated in the family code statutes. According to the statute, the obligor cannot pay more than $5,000 per month or 20 percent of the obligor’s monthly income. Whichever amount is the lesser of the two is the amount that will be ordered. The judge could choose to place a limit on how long the obligor must pay spousal maintenance. For instance, the judge could end the payments after the recipient completes their college education and gets a job. The end date for the alimony will also be included in the order.

The act also covers people who are subjected to a legal guardianship. For instance, an elderly parent who is being cared for by an adult child who is abusive would be protected by the same law.

What Protection Does the Act Offer?

One of the primary protections that the act offers is a temporary protective order. In Texas, the order would restrict contact by the abuser for 31 to 91 days. If the abuser violates the order, the judge could issue a warrant for their arrest.

The order is usually issued by a local judge when there is an incident that results in the abuser being arrested. Even if the abuser is not convicted, the order stays in place until an expiration date determined by the judge.

What Determines the Amount Paid?

Whether a recipient is entitled to receive $5,000 per month or less depends on certain factors. For instance, how long a couple was married has a major bearing on the amount that is ultimately awarded by the judge. The longer a couple was married, the more the recipient can expect to receive.

Another factor that can influence how much is paid is whether the obligor is also responsible for paying child support. The judge will consider if the spousal maintenance payment will have an impact on whether the obligor can afford to make their child support payments. If it does, the judge could choose to reduce the alimony payments to avoid interference with the obligor’s other financial obligation.

Whether paying alimony has an impact on the obligor’s ability to take care of their own needs is important, too. If the obligor can prove that they cannot afford a higher amount of spousal maintenance, a judge could agree to lower the amount requested by the recipient. In this instance, only basic needs, such as utilities and mortgage, are considered.

Negotiating spousal maintenance is complicated and it takes an extensive knowledge of Texas family law to successfully manage it. Working with an experienced attorney like Robert Allen Thornton can help an alimony recipient or obligor get through the process.

For more information on our Dallas Spousal Maintenance Attorney please visit our site.

How a Family Lawyer can help you

The family courts in Dallas, Texas handle a variety of cases and, while these aren’t criminal cases, the stakes can be just as high. Where one’s freedom may be at stake in criminal cases, many situations handled in the family courts can put your possessions, property, finances, and even your relationship with your children in jeopardy. These situations require expert legal assistance and an experienced family law attorney can provide a whole host of advantages.

Assessing the End of Your Marriage

An experienced family lawyer can help you look at how your divorce would best be handled. In some cases, it may be possible to mediate the division of property, the establishment of support, and child custody arrangements. When these issues can be settled amicably through mediation, the divorcing couple can often avoid court altogether. If the couple can’t agree and it is necessary to settle these matters in course, your lawyer will already be up to speed and can help you devise a strong strategy. As an objective party, an attorney can give you rational advice on how to handle your divorce. This may mean avoiding confrontational situations that will only harm your case or knowing how to protect specific assets. You will have an emotional bond to the issues at hand, so it’s wise to have a logical and rational advisor on your side.

Handling the Clerical Duties of Family Court

Whether you’re pursuing a divorce or trying to change the custody arrangements for your children, there’s a great deal of paperwork and bureaucracy involved. An error in filing paperwork or failing to provide specific documentation can end up hurting your case, so it’s best to work with an experienced professional. Your family law attorney will know how to handle the practical end of filing your case and may even know how to expedite your case. Additionally, your lawyer already knows the judges and other attorneys involved in the system, so communicating will be easier throughout the process. He will likely be familiar with your ex-spouse’s attorney and will best know how to communicate with them more effectively. This may work to your advantage and may also help the overall process run more smoothly.

The Complexities of Child Custody

One major concern in the family court system is for the custody and the financial support of the children in the marriage. Custody itself is a complicated issue, because there are many types of custody and only an experienced attorney will know how to achieve the best possible arrangement. The judge may grant sole custody to one parent, order both parents to share partial custody of the children, or may grant one parent nothing more than visitation rights. Also, the parent who gets granted physical custody may not be granted sole legal custody. Physical custody merely determines the living conditions for the children, while legal custody grants the rights of one or both parents to make decisions about a child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing, etc. While the objective for the court is to keep the family as connected as possible, the primary concern is always for the children. Your attorney will be able to show that helping you maintain a relationship with your children will be in their best interests. These are just a few of the benefits that working with an experienced family law attorney can provide.

If you’re anticipating a divorce or need to petition the court to address other issues, such as child custody or child support, contact Robert Thornton. Thornton Law can provide the services you need to help you achieve the best possible results in your case. An initial consultation will help you understand the merits of your case and give you better insight into how you should proceed.

To retain the legal help of the Best Family Lawyer in Dallas please visit our site.