A Fort Worth Family Attorney on Income Disparity as a Factor in Determining Alimony
Alimony, also known as spousal support in Texas, is not awarded as commonly as it once was. A higher burden is now placed on the spouse requesting alimony than in times past, although maintenance may last longer if it is ultimately awarded. If you are seeking alimony, you should be aware that the court has the discretion to look at many factors, but the income disparity between you and your spouse is often a primary consideration. If you are going through a divorce, contact a Fort Worth Family Attorney to assist you through the complex divorce process.
The beginning point for alimony determination is the rebuttable presumption under Texas law that neither you nor your spouse requires maintenance from one another. As a Fort Worth family attorney is best able to explain, a rebuttable presumption is an evidentiary burden that can be overcome by introducing evidence that contradicts, or rebuts, the underlying standard.
Minimum Reasonable Needs
If your marriage lasted for at least 10 years and you are the spouse seeking alimony, you must show an inability to provide for your own minimum reasonable needs in consideration of the property you owned, including separate property. Although a large income disparity between you and your spouse does not necessarily mean the lower wage earner cannot meet his or her minimum needs, the greater the disparity, the more likely it is that maintenance will be granted.
Factors Contributing to Income Disparity
Your and your spouse’s individual differences in ability, education and personal motivation are among the numerous variables that contribute your specific income potential. However, often, the single greatest factor in a former spouse’s inability to earn minimum need wages post-divorce is making the choice while married to leave the workforce.
This primarily affects women who have sacrificed their careers to be stay-at-home moms, but increasingly, men have taken on this role as well. In either case, advances in technology and other changes in the manner in which business is conducted can place a worker who has been absent for some time at a huge disadvantage.
Additionally, despite advances to the contrary, the unfortunate reality is that on average, a woman, performing the same job as a man, will earn less money over her career’s course.
The maximum monthly payment is $5000, but if you are the spouse obligated to make the payments and have a gross income of less than $5000, the payment will be capped at 20 percent of your average gross income.
Contact a Fort Worth Family Attorney for Legal Advice
For any questions regarding spousal support in Texas or any rights or obligations concerning your marital dissolution, don’t wait. Find someone experienced in this difficult, often-painful legal matter today. You can reach one of our attorneys at the Hurr Law Office P.C. at 817-210-0150.