In Texas, alimony is called spousal maintenance. And speaking from experience, it can be hard to get a Texas family court judge to order it, even if you are a stay-at-home parent. That said, it IS possible to get spousal maintenance if your divorce attorney fights for it and you meet the qualifications.
If you think alimony should be part of the settlement agreement in your divorce, talk with one of the Frisco spousal support attorneys at Albin Oldner Law, PLLC. We can explain Texas alimony law AND the new IRS alimony rule that takes effect January 2019. Things are about the change in a big way and it’s important that you know about it.
The first requirement for receiving spousal support is that the spouse seeking support must lack sufficient “property” (marital property, separate property and income) to provide for his or her “minimum reasonable needs.“
But what is the minimum reasonable need? The law does not specify that so it’s up to the judge to decide. And that’s where an aggressive, effective lawyer can help to make the case by providing information regarding:
Even if the judge agrees that this information points to insufficient means, the law requires more than that before he or she can order spousal maintenance.
If these criteria are met, you likely qualify for spousal support, but you should know that Texas law puts a cap on the amount of support you can receive. Support cannot exceed $5,000 a month, or 20% of the payor’s average monthly gross income.
If the court determines that you’re eligible and orders spousal maintenance, there are limits to follow. In Texas, maintenance payments must not be more than $5,000 per month or more than 20% of the spouse’s monthly gross income, whichever is less.
|Under 10 years of marriage, with family violence
|5 years max
|10-20 years of marriage
|5 years max
|20-30 years of marriage
|7 years max
|30+ years of marriage
|10 years max
Remember, what we are about to tell you does not take effect until January 2019 so if you are in the process of getting divorced in 2018, this will likely not apply to you. It will apply to anyone whose divorce decree gets approved by a judge in January 2019, and later.
We’ve seen massive changes to the tax code and one of these changes could have a big impact on Texas spousal support. Currently, the tax code allows the person paying support to deduct those payments from his/her taxes. The spouse receiving the support has paid taxes on it as income.
As of January 1, 2019, spousal support cannot be deducted from the payor’s taxes. There is no more alimony deduction. This will make it considerably more expensive for the alimony-paying partner because they are also paying taxes on that money.
For the ex-spouse receiving alimony, the pot just got sweetened. Like child support, the receiver of alimony will not have to declare it as income and will not need to pay taxes on it.
So how is this likely to play out? Receivers get to keep all of the income received, but payors will probably fight generous support payments because it will hit their bottom line twice – with alimony and with taxes.
Schedule a time to meet with one of our Frisco spousal maintenance lawyers who can explain your legal rights and options.