Are you considering divorce in Texas? You probably have questions about alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance.
The alimony attorneys at The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt in Arlington, TX, can help you protect your financial future.
Men and women from Southlake, Westover Hills, and all over Dallas-Fort Worth choose our divorce lawyers for help with alimony disputes...
Alimony in Texas
Alimony is financial support that one spouse is ordered by a court to provide to the other during and/or after a divorce. Texas family law refers to alimony as "spousal maintenance." Other states refer to it as "spousal support."
In Texas, the initial presumption of the court during any divorce is that spousal support is not appropriate. Judges will only award alimony under specific circumstances, and the payments are almost always required for only a limited time.
Alimony payments, when ordered and calculated fairly, can empower a lower-earning spouse to start a new life after a divorce. However, when alimony payments are awarded unfairly, they can be a crippling financial burden to the supporting spouse. At The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt in Arlington, our alimony attorneys assist both higher-earning and lower-earning spouses in alimony disputes. If you are going through a divorce, our lawyers can protect your rights and your family's best interests.
Speak With an Alimony Lawyer
Going through a divorce is an emotional experience. Many of the issues can raise feelings of sadness, anger, and confusion. It is critical to have an attorney by your side so you are not taken advantage of. This is true of all aspects of family law, but when it comes to spousal support, it is especially beneficial to have skilled legal representation.
At The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, we provide compassionate yet aggressive advocacy and fight for your rights. Donna Smiedt is recognized as a Board Certified Family Law Attorney – Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and she leads a team of divorce attorneys at her law offices.
We offer in-person and virtual consultations to prospective clients from Southlake, Westover Hills, and all over Dallas-Fort Worth. Schedule your consultation right now so you can discuss alimony with a lawyer who specializes in family law. You can request a consultation by contacting us online or by calling our Arlington office at (817) 572-9900.
Call Our Law Firm: (817) 572-9900
"Do you recommend Donna Smiedt?" OF COURSE I DO. She is one of the smartest lawyers I've ever known and she uses all of that intelligence to help her clients, first and foremost. That's what I call Relevant Competence - talent that matters because it is used to help real people with real challenges. She knows how to get people "across the finish line." And, she is highly regarded in the world of law and the courts. That's critical. You can't go wrong by hiring Donna Smiedt.View on Google
Donna represented our family for a parental termination and step parent adoption. Her entire team did a great job over the 2 year process. I thought Donna's strategy and no nonsense approach to be exactly what we needed. Finding a parent who hides can typically be tough but she knew the legal way to navigate around it. At the end, my daughter was adopted by the man who is truly her dad. Seriously, an excellent legal team!View on Google
Temporary vs. Permanent Support
In Texas, there are different types of spousal support. Understanding the difference between temporary and permanent support is important:
- Temporary support: These temporary payments are made by one spouse to the other during the case and before a final decree is entered.
- Permanent support: This support is paid once the case is over and provides the recipient with the funds needed to maintain the same standard of living as they had during the marriage.
Once the divorce is final, there are certain time limits on spousal support payments. If the marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years, the payments will continue for up to five years. For longer marriages, between 20 and 30 years, the support can last for up to seven years. If a marriage lasted longer than 30 years, the receiving spouse can ask that payments continue for up to 10 years after the divorce is final. There are instances where support can be paid indefinitely and these types of arrangements are settled on a case-by-case basis in court.
How Spousal Support Is Determined
Several factors are considered by family law courts when entering an order of spousal support, including:
- Income level of each party
- Educational and employment history of each party
- How long the marriage lasted
- The ages of the parties
- Whether any health issues are present
- Whether the recipient is caring for a disabled child or is disabled themselves
- The child support order and child custody arrangement, if applicable
- History of domestic violence or other marital misconduct
Every case is unique and has special needs. In order to determine the amount of spousal support that fits your case, our alimony lawyers in Arlington will examine all the facts and present them on your behalf. The court then takes all evidence into consideration and enters a final order.
A Lawyer Can Help with Spousal Maintenance
Why Choose Our Law Firm?
A Firm That Judges and Attorneys Trust
Our law firm is well-regarded in the legal community of Greater Dallas-Fort Worth. In fact, we have represented several judges and lawyers in their own divorce cases.
Our attorneys know how difficult a divorce can be, which is why we do everything we can to foster a relaxing environment at our Arlington office. Clients especially appreciate our divorce therapy dogs.
Practicing Since 1986
Donna Smiedt began practicing family law in the Arlington area in 1986. She became a Board Certified Family Law Attorney - Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1991. Over the decades, she has seen every possible complication that can arise in a divorce, and she knows how to navigate these complex cases.
Get Started With a Consultation
Our Arlington divorce lawyers are ready to review your case and help you achieve a just alimony agreement. Contact our law offices today to schedule your in-person or virtual consultation. Men and women from Southlake, Westover Hills, and all over Dallas-Fort Worth can request a consultation online or by phone.
More 5-Star Reviews
I have known Donna since 2006 and am beyond grateful to have had her on my side. She is considerate, confident, and truly a loving person. My journey with her has led her to become a genuine friend of mine and I would highly recommend her to anyone! She will listen to your needs and pour her heart into being an advocate for you. She is unlike any other lawyer and will be real with you and take care of business. She excels at what she does and has a passion for winning for all of her clients. She will listen to you and make it her mission to help you throughout your difficult times. Additionally, her staff is very welcoming and helpful. As a person who has gone through two divorces, I would not trust any other lawyer than Donna. Her name, experience, and years in the business tells you all that you need to know.View on Google
If you have to file for a divorce, PLEASE do NOT go into that unchartered legal arena without Donna's guidance. She is the consummate knowledeable divorce professional! If you are crushingly miserable in your daily life with your spouse, & true happiness is beyond attainable, be brave enough to save yourself. If you step into the Divorce ring, you need the very best to help you from a divorce attorney...That would easily be Donna. Her depth of knowledge in Divorce Law, Process & procedure is second to none. In the courtroom I will tell you she has few peers. She will successfully guide you to a resolution you will be happy with...Have you missed the word "Happy & Peace" in you life...Donna will help you find it again. After going through a challenging divorce with Donna representing me, I ended it by considering her not only the best attorney I could have selected, but a friend...now how many people can say that about their attorney? Thank you very much Donna!View on Google
Texas Spousal Maintenance FAQ
What is the maximum alimony payment in Texas?
Unlike most states, Texas has determined a limit on how much financial support one spouse can be ordered to give the other. The highest amount a spouse can be ordered to pay every month is either $5,000 or 20 percent of that spouse's average monthly gross income. Whichever amount is less represents the maximum in that case.
Can a maintenance order be modified?
Yes. Certain changes in circumstances can warrant a modification to an existing maintenance order. For example, if one spouse remarries or has a significant change in their financial situation, a modification to an existing order could be requested. Our divorce attorneys can help you request that an existing order be modified.
What are the tax implications of spousal maintenance?
In the past, the IRS considered alimony payments to be tax-deductible for the paying spouse and taxable income for the receiving spouse. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed that. Now, spousal maintenance payments are not tax-deductible for the payor or taxable for the recipient. Our divorce lawyers will take this into account when advising you on what kind of support arrangement you should seek.
How is spousal support related to child custody and child support?
In most circumstances, the parent awarded primary custody of a child will receive some amount of court-ordered child support from the other parent. Judges do take this into account when deciding if spousal maintenance is appropriate after a divorce. Generally speaking, judges are less likely to order that a spouse pay spousal support if that spouse will already be required to pay child support.
What happens if a spouse remarries?
When the paying spouse remarries or begins to cohabitate with a romantic partner, it will not warrant any change to the maintenance order. However, if the spouse receiving support remarries or moves in with a new romantic partner, then the support order can be terminated before the original end date.
"I Highly Recommend Her"
This is one of the greatest Firm I have ever worked with, I was very satisfied was my experience with Ms. Muma And Ms.SMIEDT if you are looking for super lawyer someone who care about you and your case then this is the right firm if you are looking for aggressive lawyer that will fight hard for you then this is the right Law Firm for you. The way that Ms. Donna Smiedt and Ms.Muma handled my case it's a proven example that they're a lawyers who knows the way and willing to go and show there clients the way to best results, I'm truly happy and grateful for everything they have done for me. Thank you.View on Google
Donna was my attorney during a very difficult divorce. She is very supportive, professional, ethical and well-respected by her clients, the judges and DFW legal community. Her staff is fantastic. In addition to divorces, Donna has provided professional services in other family law issues I have faced as well will preparation. The services she and her staff have provided to me, my husband and children span a time frame of almost 20 years. I would never consider going to any other attorney for any type of family law issues. Her knowledge in family law cannot be found anywhere else and I highly recommend her. Valerie M.View on Google