During a divorce, the court often orders one spouse to pay spousal support—or alimony—to the other spouse. Alimony is determined using some factors, with the income of both spouses being one of them. The more economically secure person will support the less financially stable person. As the loss of a job often means changing spousal support.
When Changes in Alimony Are Considered
Changing a court-ordered alimony amount isn’t easy. But if a significant change has occurred, then a court may order a change. These changes are based on one or more of the following.
- An agreement of both spouses that a change should be made
- A significant change is a situation (like sustaining a disability)
- A change in income (found in section 8.057(d) of Texas Family Code)
If the change in income is relatively minor, then an alimony amount may not be affected. Spousal support will go unaffected if the supporting spouse’s net worth is so great that losing a job would not significantly affect his or her ability to pay the full alimony amount.
As a note, spousal support amounts in Texas must be no more than 20 percent of the paying spouse’s income, or $5,000, whichever is less. Therefore, if income changes, the 20 percent number (payment amount) is likely also to change.
What are my options?
If you are worried that your spousal support amount will be affected because of your ex-spouse’s changes in income, you should seek legal counsel. Additionally, Texans must deal with some special laws regarding divorce in Texas, to which a divorce lawyer can help you adhere.
However, keep in mind that unless a court makes a modification to your spousal support order, your ex-spouse is still obligated to pay your full alimony amount, even after losing his or her job. If you have not received your payments in whole or on time, you have the right to take action.
Learn More About Alimony in Texas
If you have questions about your spousal support order and the things that affect an order amount and modifications, we can help to clarify any confusion. The Texas Divorce Lawyer is ready to represent your interests and help you get a fair spousal support amount—or argue against modification to a value—during or following a divorce. To learn more about our services, contact us at 214-265-7630.