How Is Spousal Maintenance Decided And Can It Be Modified?
May 2, 2018
When a couple is married, it isn’t uncommon for one person to work while the other stays home to care for the kids. It also isn’t uncommon for one spouse to have fewer or less valuable assets than the other. In a divorce, the spouse who has greater financial resources may be ordered to provide cash payments to the one who has fewer financial resources.
How Is Spousal Maintenance Decided?
There are many factors that determine if a person is allowed to receive financial support from a spouse after a divorce is finalized. For instance, a judge may consider the length of the marriage as a key factor in their ruling. Generally speaking, a person is more likely to receive maintenance payments if a marriage lasted for 10 years or more.
A judge can also look at the earning potential of each spouse after the marriage ends. An individual who has a college degree and relevant job skills may receive less money or receive fewer payments compared to someone who lacks an education or job skills. However, an individual may be ordered to enroll in classes or take other steps to become employable in a reasonable amount of time.
An individual’s age at the time of a divorce can also be a factor in how much spousal maintenance is awarded. Typically, older individuals are more likely to receive payments as they may be seen as less likely to be able to obtain a job that maintains a reasonable standard of living. Dallas family lawyer Robert Thornton may be able to explain in greater detail how these or other factors may apply in a spousal support ruling.
Can Spousal Support Be Modified After an Order Is Granted?
It is possible for a spousal support order to be modified for a variety of reasons. In fact, requests for spousal support order modifications occur in roughly 80 percent of divorce cases in which it is granted. Just as there are many reasons for creating spousal support orders, there are many reasons why they could be modified.
For example, a payee could have lost their job or encountered other unexpected expenses. If a recipient gets married, that may also influence their eligibility for future payments. Speaking with Dallas family lawyer Robert Thornton can make it easier to understand how or why an order may be modified and the impact it could have on your finances.
Those who have questions about the process of obtaining spousal support or modifying an order should contact Robert Thornton today. Working with a Dallas family law professional may make it easier to understand your rights and obtain a favorable outcome in your case.