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Factors that may affect spousal support

Texas couples who are contemplating divorce may be interested in conditions that can affect spousal support. In many cases, couples and their advocates are able to arrive at a settlement on major issues such as asset division, child support and spousal support by themselves. However, failure to mediate such a settlement necessitates intervention by a family court.

On a case-by-case basis, courts may determine the recipient, the nature, the duration and the amount of spousal support. In doing so, courts take multiple factors into consideration. The duration of the marriage is one factor. Additionally, courts look at the educational level of both partners as well as the capacity and capability of each spouse to procure employment.

In the event that one spouse contributed to the education and career enhancement of the other spouse during the marriage, courts will also take that into consideration. Moreover, factors such as premarital property and the dissipation of marital assets may prove to be pivotal.

For, courts weigh the resources with which the spouse requesting support emerges from the divorce when determining a fair and reasonable order. For similar reasons, courts weigh the ability of the alimony-paying spouse to meet the alimony-receiving spouse's needs. Furthermore, any marital misconduct on the part of the spouse requesting support may influence the final outcome.

It is critical for both spouses to retain a family law attorney when going through a divorce. Attorneys may assist spouses structure a viable contractual settlement. In the event one spouse suspects that the other spouse is secreting or misrepresenting assets in order to obtain a more favorable spousal support order, an attorney may provide applicable resources and counsel.

Source: Divorce Support, "Texas Spousal Support/Maintenance/Alimony Factors", September 10, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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