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TX divorce lawyerFinancial issues are likely to be a concern for anyone who is splitting up with their partner. In many high asset divorce cases, one spouse earns the majority of the family’s income, and the other spouse may be unable to make enough money to provide for their needs on their own. A spouse may ask for spousal support, which is also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, to be paid, giving them the means to pay for their ongoing expenses. However, spousal support is not awarded in every case, and spouses should be sure to understand how Texas’ divorce laws will apply in their situation.

When Is Spousal Maintenance Awarded?

The purpose of spousal support is to provide for the needs of a spouse who is unable to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs. Typically, a spouse will be eligible to receive spousal maintenance if the parties have been married for at least 10 years, and the spouse who is seeking spousal support does not currently have the means to support themselves. This will allow a spouse to receive ongoing support payments if they did not work during their marriage or relied primarily on their partner’s income to meet the family’s needs.

While spousal maintenance is rarer in marriages of less than 10 years, there are some situations where it may be awarded. These include cases where a spouse has a physical or mental disability that causes them to be unable to earn enough income to support themselves or where a spouse will be the custodial parent for a child who has a disability that requires a level of care that would prevent the parent from earning a sufficient income. A spouse may also be required to pay spousal support if they were convicted of family violence against the other spouse or their child during the marriage or divorce. Even if a spouse would not normally be eligible to receive spousal maintenance, a couple may agree that support will be paid as part of their divorce settlement, or the terms of a prenuptial agreement may require support to be paid.

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TX high asset divorce lawyerHigh net worth divorces in Texas have many complex elements that do not exist in other types of divorce cases. If you are getting ready to file for divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, you should know just how important it is to have a Texas high net worth divorce lawyer on your side throughout this complicated and often lengthy process. Given the complexity of high asset divorces, we want to go through a list of things that anyone anticipating a high net worth divorce should consider.

1. You Should Hire a Lawyer Who Has Experience Handling High Asset Divorces

You want to make certain you have an Austin divorce lawyer who has experience handling high asset divorces in Texas.

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TX divorce lawyerCouples who live in Texas and have unique or diverse assets and are considering divorce may want to consider filing by the end of 2018, as new federal tax laws that affect alimony payments are set to go into effect next year. To learn more about filing for divorce and the effect that the new tax law could have on your own case, please contact one of our dedicated Cedar Park high asset divorce attorneys for assistance.

Current Law

Under current federal law, those who pay alimony to ex-spouses can deduct those payments when calculating their taxable income. Similarly, alimony recipients must include spousal maintenance payments when calculating their income. This has proven to be extremely helpful to taxpayers who are being taxed at a high rate based on their income. In fact, the IRS estimates that as many as 600,000 people take advantage of this deduction. However, next year, this option will no longer be available.

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Texas divorce lawyerAlthough filing for divorce is a stressful time, it is still important that those who have decided to dissolve their marriage take certain initial steps. For instance, the parties involved will still need to pay household expenses, care for children, and perhaps relocate. Failing to address these issues early on can add more tension to an already stressful situation, which is why Texas family courts are often asked to step in and issue temporary orders before any actual divorce proceedings take place. For help representing your own interests in a petition regarding temporary divorce orders, please contact one of our experienced Georgetown high asset divorce attorneys for advice.

The Importance of Temporary Orders

When a couple decides to get divorced, it is often in their best interest to request a hearing for temporary orders. As their name suggests, these types of orders aren’t necessarily the ones that will remain in place when a divorce is finalized. Instead, their purpose is to provide a quick resolution to important issues until divorce proceedings actually begin. In high asset divorce cases, these orders are especially important because they could have a significant bearing on a series of critical issues, including:

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Posted on in Spousal Support

Texas divorce lawyerLate last year, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made significant changes to the deductibility of alimony payments. The recent amendments could have a serious impact on Texas couples who finalize their divorces next year, so if you are considering filing for divorce, it is critical to contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can explain the legal ramifications that the new law could have on your own divorce.

Alimony Basics

Except in specific circumstances, the amount of alimony that a former spouse can receive in Texas is capped at:

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Texas family lawyerAlthough spousal support is usually described merely as alimony, there are actually three types of spousal support recognized under Texas law. Each type comes with its own set of conditions and requirements, which determines who is eligible to receive support and for how long they can continue receiving it. If you are going through a divorce and have concerns about your financial future, you should consider consulting with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer who can help you determine whether you qualify for spousal support.

Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary spousal support is usually granted by the court when one party is unable to financially support him or herself while the divorce is still pending. Temporary alimony payments can be made every month or in a lump-sum payment. Which type of payment, how much the recipient is eligible to collect, and for how long he or she can continue receiving payments depends on a number of factors, including each party’s ability to support him or herself, each spouse’s employment skills, and both party’s earning ability.

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Texas divorce attorney, Texas family law attorneyIn Texas, courts can order spousal maintenance if a party can establish that he or she lacks the ability to provide for his or her reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability. Demonstrating a disability for the purposes of receiving maintenance can be difficult, so if you are considering a divorce and have questions about your eligibility to receive alimony, it is critical to contact an experienced complex divorce attorney who can explain your rights and legal responsibilities.

Establishing Disability

Before a court will award spousal maintenance based on disability, the party seeking alimony must first provide evidence of a physical or mental disability. This does not necessarily require the submission of medical evidence. Instead, a party can demonstrate his or her condition through circumstantial evidence and the testimony of witnesses. For instance, when attempting to establish disability, courts will take into consideration a series of factors that can be deduced through testimony, including whether the party seeking maintenance has attempted to secure employment in the past or is currently receiving any form of income. Providing this type of evidence is often necessary to demonstrating a link between the party’s disability and his or her inability to sustain employment. Without this link, courts are often reluctant to order payment of spousal maintenance based on disability.

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Posted on in Spousal Support

Texas high asset attorney, Texas alimony lawyerAside from custody issues, one of the most contested matters in a divorce proceeding is property division. As part of determining which party will be granted ownership of certain assets, courts often take into account whether one spouse will be required to provide the other spouse with periodic maintenance payments. Determining whether a spousal support award is appropriate can be a difficult matter to resolve and can also have serious financial repercussions for all parties, so if you are considering filing for divorce and have questions about how your marital property will be divided or whether you will be eligible to receive spousal support, please contact an experienced high asset divorce attorney who can help explain your legal options.

Establishing Eligibility

A party can only obtain spousal support if he or she can satisfy specific eligibility requirements. For instance, a party requesting support must provide evidence that he or she lacks sufficient assets to provide for his or her reasonable minimum needs and:

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