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Who can receive alimony after a high asset divorce in Texas?

Couples going through a high asset divorce in the state of Texas may be interested in learning more about their post-divorce financial obligations towards one another. When a marriage ends, it's rarely the case that former couples can simply cut ties completely and go their separate ways. Whether or not children are involved, but especially if they are, there may be important financial matters that require former spouses to cooperate not only with one another but also with the current laws in their state.

In Texas, there are two different types of alimony. The first is spousal maintenance specifically ordered by the court. The second is contractual alimony which proceeds from the forming of an agreement between two spouses. Either type may be encountered amidst a high asset divorce, in which one or both former spouses may possess complex assets or substantial income.

Some high-earning marriages may have had one spouse who stayed home to raise the children or assist in the other spouse's career. This type of situation may call for spousal maintenance, since the stay-at-home spouse may have given up his or her career and education and may be incapable of acquiring gainful employment. A spouse may also be eligible for alimony if he or she is disabled or if they are caring for a child that requires extensive looking-after, such as a child with special needs.

Unlike court-ordered spousal maintenance, contractual alimony has no limits on how long it is to be paid or how much is to be paid. This type of alimony is often made before a marriage even begins, typically through a prenuptial agreement. Not surprisingly, though, there can be disputes over both spousal maintenance and contractual alimony once a marriage dissolves. Even if matters were agreed-upon beforehand, a lot can happen during the course of a marriage, including changing financial circumstances. Therefore, it may be beneficial to speak with a local Texas divorce lawyer to assess one's legal rights and how best to act on them.

Source: The Houston Chronicle, "Alimony not an option for most divorcing in Texas," July 15, 2014

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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