Houston Alimony Modification Attorneys

Modification of Spousal Support

In some circumstances, Texas law will allow for payment of alimony or spousal support in a divorce case. Spousal support is when one former spouse pays the other a set amount determined by the Texas court. Over time, spousal support can be modified or terminated if a spouse breaches certain conditions.

Texas Family Code outlines the factors that determine continuing spousal maintenance. Spousal support can be a large cost and hindrance to the paying spouse’s life. If you believe that your spouse is outside these conditions then you may be eligible to modify your spousal support. Any person who wants to modify or even terminate their spousal support, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced family law attorney.

A spousal support payment can be taxing on the paying spouse. It is important that the paying spouse keeps track of the factors surrounding their spousal support. If you believe that you may be eligible to modify your alimony payment, it is vital that you contact an experienced divorce attorney.

Certain circumstances and situations can call for a spousal support payment to be modified or even terminated. Sometimes, without their knowledge, a paying spouse may be paying a much higher or unneeded monthly payment. It is important that you retain legal representation and contact the attorneys at The Gonzalez Law Group.

Our attorneys are skilled in both negotiation and litigation. We have decades of experience in handling Texas family law matters. The Gonzalez Law Group understands the difficulties that a divorce court brings. We are sympathetic to the financial and personal struggles our clients go through to obtain a modified alimony payment. The Gonzalez Law Group is multilingual and will do all we can to dedicate our time and energy to our client’s cases. Do not let time slide by without any action. Call (832) 530-4070 for a knowledgeable divorce attorney.

Overview for Modifying Spousal Maintenance in Harris County

How to Get Spousal Support in Texas

Not every marriage dissolution results in spousal maintenance for either party. There are certain circumstances and factors that make a person eligible for spousal support. First, the spouse must only seek alimony if they lack sufficient property, money, and resources to maintain minimum reasonable needs.

The following are the elements that qualify a spouse for spousal maintenance:

  • The paying spouse was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a family violence offense (defined under 71.004) committed against the other spouse or the spouse’s child during the course of the marriage and also:
    • Occurred within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed; or
    • Occurred while the suit is pending
  • The spouse is seeking maintenance due to:
    • Inability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
    • Was married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income for his or her minimum reasonable needs;
    • Is the custodian of a child from the marriage who has a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning a sufficient income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs.

Texas Alimony Laws in Houston

Alimony laws outline factors that determine the amount and continuation of spousal maintenance. A common reason why a spouse may request a modification to their alimony payment is due to significant changes in either party’s lifestyle. Both paying and receiving spouse can request a review for the alimony order. In order to modify an order, the motion must be filed with the county clerk.

Texas lists factors that can influence a spousal support payment. If any of these factors experience significant changes, the alimony amount and nature may be modified. A spouse is eligible to receive maintenance payments by considering all relevant factors, including:

  • Each spouse’s ability to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs independently;
  • The education and employment skills of the spouses;
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training required for the job to earn sufficient income for the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • Availability and feasibility of that education or training;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • The effect of each spouse’s ability to provide for that spouse’s minimum reasonable needs while providing periodic child support payments or maintenance, if applicable;
  • Acts by either spouse resulting in excessive or abnormal expenditures or destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community property, joint tenancy, or other property held in common;
  • The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
  • The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
  • The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker;
  • Marital misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment, by either spouse during the marriage; and
  • Any history or pattern of family violence as defined by 71.004

How to File a Motion to Modify Alimony in Houston, Texas

An alimony payment may be reduced or enhanced by filing a motion to modify the maintenance in court. The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure governs the filing for a modification of spousal maintenance. A notice must be given by service of citation, and the response must be submitted before 10 A.M. of the first Monday after 20 days of the date of service.

A court shall set a hearing on the motion to see if the spousal support should be modified. The court will review the factors listed above (located in Texas Family Code § 8.052 and § 8.051) to see if there were any significant changes.

For example, the paying spouse may file for modification if the other spouse recently obtained a higher paying job. Since the spouse seeking maintenance now can meet their minimum reasonable needs. If the courts recognize this, the paying spouse may have their alimony payment reduced.

Losing employment or other financial circumstances can reduce spousal maintenance for the paying spouse. A former spouse who is unable to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs does not meet the requirements for spousal maintenance.

How to Stop Alimony in Harris County, Texas

Texas Family Code § 8.056 states certain factors that can lead to the termination of spousal support. The following are reasons why alimony payments may be terminated include:

  • Death of either party;
  • Remarriage of the spouse seeking maintenance; or
  • If the court finds that the spouse seeking maintenance cohabits in a permanent residence with another person who they have romantic relations with.

It is important to note that only future payments are concerned if spousal support is terminated. This means that any unpaid balances must be paid in full.

Additional Resources

Texas Family Code: Chapter 8 – Visit Texas statutes regarding spousal maintenance after divorce. See the legal definitions used throughout the statute, the factors that make a person eligible for spousal maintenance, 2018 Texas alimony laws, and what happens when divorcing a disabled spouse in Texas.

Spousal Maintenance – Visit TexasLawHelp.com, a statewide legal aid website for Texas residents. See how to get the court to order spousal support in your case, and other frequently asked questions regarding spousal maintenance.

Contact a Houston Divorce Attorney

Modifying spousal support may be a hard but necessary process. It is highly advised that you seek legal representation when trying to change your spousal maintenance payment. If you believe that you qualify for alimony modification, it is in your best interest to contact the attorneys at The Gonzalez Law Group.

The attorneys at The Gonzalez Law Group are dedicated to your case. We understand the strife that is associated with divorce and family law and want to do all we can to help you get the results you deserve. Our attorneys have decades of experience in Family Law. We practice throughout Harris County, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown, and many others. Call (832) 530-4070, or submit an online contact form today.

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