During a divorce, alimony is often the most important aspect. It raises several questions in the mind of both parties involved. Also, there are certain factors one needs to know about during the proceeding of divorce.
Also known as spousal maintenance, it is a monthly payment carried out by the higher-earning spouse. So, if you are going for a divorce and don’t understand alimony payments in Texas, here are six things you should know.
The most common question is whether Texas alimony payments are taxable or not. According to the IRS, alimony payments, also known as spousal support, are deductible. Although for the divorces finalized after 31st December 2018, the recipient spouse doesn’t have to pay taxes on it.
Also, those who pay the alimony can no longer deduct the payment from their taxes.
Divorces that occur before the stated date can follow the old tax rules unless a modification has been done in terms of alimony after 31st December 2018.
Not limited to a specific gender
There is a common misconception that only men are required to pay alimony, which is not true at all. The highest-earning spouse generally pays alimony.
Depending on their income, it can either be the wife or the husband. It depends on the ability of each spouse to pay for their reasonable needs and not on their gender.
Longevity of spousal maintenance payment
The longevity of spousal maintenance payment varies from marriage to marriage. If the divorce has happened after ten years of marriage, it can only last up to five years. For couples who have been married for 20 years, the payment lasts up to 7 years, not more than that.
In marriages that lasted for 30 years or more, the alimony can be paid for ten years or more.
Who qualifies for alimony?
It is not necessarily for the court to grant alimony in all divorce cases, and it is difficult to get court-ordered alimony in Texas. The court reserves alimony in cases where the spouse is unable to fulfill his or her reasonable needs after a divorce.
The court will not grant alimony if the spouse is not willing to return to work after a divorce. It is only possible if the court believes that the spouse is making sincere efforts to return to the workforce.
Failures in alimony payments
In case of a failure in alimony payments by a spouse, the court can enforce a spousal maintenance order over contractual alimony. If found defaulted in contempt, it can result in jail time or a hefty fine.
The recipient spouse can file for a suit in family court with contractual alimony. The court can hold the paying spouse accountable and enforce a contract for the same. Although, it will only be done if the original contract is deemed fair and equitable.
Termination of alimony
Apart from the longevity set by the court, the termination of spousal maintenance payment can occur in several cases. The most common scenario is if the recipient spouse remarries or cohabitates with another person.
Also, in the case of the death of the recipient’s spouse, the payment will stop. If the paying spouse dies, their insurance policy or estate will be responsible for the alimony payments.
These are some common questions that people often ask during the proceeding of a divorce. Regarding Texas alimony payments, it is better to get help from a professional. There are many different factors involved.
Not all divorces will necessarily involve alimony payments, and it is better to consult an alimony divorce attorney for a smooth and hassle-free proceeding. So, if you are going for a divorce, ask a professional to weigh in to clear any confusion.