Alimony and Child Support in High-Income Families
Determining the amounts of alimony and child support is a contentious part of any divorce. In high-asset divorces, however, it is often even more complicated. Regardless of your family’s income, you need an experienced attorney to protect your rights in alimony and child support cases.
Attorney Bruce Turner at Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C., represents people in the Dallas area in divorce cases, including those involving alimony and child support. His comprehensive knowledge of Texas family law allows him to identify circumstances that may affect alimony and child support payments. Whether you are seeking or contesting alimony or child support, our attorneys can assist you.
Spousal Maintenance and Alimony
We represent men and women seeking or contesting spousal maintenance or alimony. In Texas, eligibility for spousal maintenance is governed by the following criteria:
1. The seeking spouse will lack sufficient property to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs AND:
- the other spouse was convicted or received deferred adjudication for an act of family violence against the seeking spouse or the seeking spouse’s child(ren) during the marriage and the offense occurred:
- within two years of suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed or the while the suit is pending, OR
- the seeking spouse:
- is unable to earn sufficient income because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability,
- has been married to the other spouse for 10 or more years and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs, OR
- is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the seeking spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for his or her minimum reasonable need.
If you need living expenses during the divorce process, we can file a temporary order for you. Alimony is a contractual obligation that may be part of a divorce settlement; it is not granted by the court.
Spousal maintenance payments are tax-deductible for the payer, while the person who receives the payments must pay taxes on them. Depending on your financial circumstances, it may make sense to discuss aproperty settlement in lieu of or in addition to spousal support. In high-asset divorces, we must present the reasonable needs of the dependent spouse. Often, this must be balanced against the standard of living acquired during the marriage.
Texas has statutory guidelines for determining the amount of child support payments. In general, the noncustodial parent will pay 20% of his or her income for one child; for two children, it is 25%. The maximum child support payment is based on a net income of $7,500 per month. (Click here to se a helpful child support calculator from the State of Texas Attorney General.)
In some high-income families, a parent may be able to argue that the child’s needs are greater than the maximum payment can cover. The court has discretion to grant an increase in child support payments if the cost of the child’s needs can be proven. In high-asset divorce and custody cases, the reasonable needs of the child may include expensive extracurricular activities, sporting equipment, tutors and clothing.