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Understanding Why You Need a Spousal Support Lawyer


Spousal support, or alimony, refers to the arrangement in which one spouse is ordered by the court to pay their partner following a divorce. Also referred to as spousal maintenance, these payments are intended to limit unfair economic effects after a marriage has ended. Depending on your situation, spousal support payments can be a vital lifeline or a crushing financial burden. If you are facing a divorce, spousal support lawyer Ryan Dougay in Austin, TX, can use years of experience to help you reach an optimal arrangement. Contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Dougay online or call (512) 469-0811 to learn how he can fight for your future.

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An attorney can ensure you receive sufficient assistance or, conversely, you do not bear an unfair financial burden.

Economic Fallouts of Divorce

Following a divorce, one partner may face considerable economic fallout. For example, an individual may have given up their profession, or forgone a career altogether, to better care for their family. While caring for family develops important skill sets, it can prove difficult to be competitive in the job market after years spent at home. Spousal maintenance, provided by the "payer spouse," can replace or supplement the receiving spouse’s income until he or she has undergone the training or education necessary to become self-supporting.

Securing an experienced family law attorney can make all the difference to ensure your quality of life is protected. 

The court may determine that spousal maintenance is required during or after the divorce proceedings. It is also important to note that spousal payments are different from property division or child support

Determining Spousal Support

The court will take certain statutory factors into account to determine how much, how frequently, and for how long spousal support will be paid. The court may consider:

  • Age, financial condition, and physical and mental health of the partners
  • Amount of time required for the recipient to undergo training or education to become self-sufficient
  • The couple's standard of living during marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability of the payer spouse to support his or herself, as well as the recipient

A spousal support order may be subject to modification if the circumstances that informed the existing order change. Notably, if the income one party increases or decreases, making them better equipped to pay alimony or better able to support him or herself, then a modification will be necessary.

Spousal Support in Texas

Spousal maintenance is not automatically granted under Texas law. The court may not order a spouse to pay more than $2,500 or 20 percent of the spouse’s gross monthly income, whichever is less. Alimony in Texas is typically awarded for three years, but extensions are common in instances of longer-lasting marriages. While the court attempts to limit support to the shortest time possible, partners may receive:

  • Up to 5 years of spousal support for marriage of 10 years or less
  • Up to 7 years of spousal support for marriage lasting 20-30 years
  • Up to 10 years of support for 30 years of marriage or more

A notable exception to these scenarios is spelled out in the Texas Family Code, which lifts certain alimony restrictions for a disabled spouse or caretaker of a disabled child, whose earning power is often diminished.

Meet with a Family Law Attorney

The issue of spousal support arises in many divorces, and the subject can be a major point of contention. Securing an experienced family law attorney like Mr. Dougay can make all the difference to ensure your quality of life is protected. Email or call (512) 469-0811 today to schedule a consultation.

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"Ryan helped me through my divorce and complicated property division. He was great at explaining the process to me and explaining anything that I did not understand. He and his staff were always very helpful and understanding and I couldn’t have chosen a more qualified, competent lawyer to handle my case."

Amanda - Satisfied Client

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