During a divorce settlement, courts often establish alimony payments in situations where the spouses have vastly different levels of income. This spousal support allows the financially dependent spouse to maintain the lifestyle that he or she became accustomed to during the marriage, giving the individual time to regain his or her financial footing after the separation. There are several types of alimony payments, but any of these may require modifications over time due to the changing economic situations of the parties involved.
Whether you receive alimony or pay it, it is essential to understand your legal rights and options when it comes to modifying alimony agreements. A skilled lawyer can help you represent your changing needs to the court so that you can secure the modification that best suits your situation. If you are searching for the support of an experienced family lawyer in the Woodlands, reach out to BB Law Group PLLC at (832) 534-2589 today to learn how we can help you.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
No matter what your goals regarding alimony modification are, an experienced family lawyer can help you prepare a strong case. Your lawyer will gather the necessary evidence to prove that circumstances have or have not changed enough for alimony modification. Here are a few examples of common situations which could legally justify alimony modification:
- Drastic Decrease in the Income of the Paying Spouse
- A Medical Emergency and the Associated Costs
- Significant Increases in Expenses for the Paying Spouse
- Increase in the Income of the Spouse Receiving Alimony
- Re-Marriage or Cohabitation of the Receiving Spouse with a Supporting Partner
Although both sides will have the opportunity to present evidence to a judge in any of these cases, different kinds of evidence will be necessary depending on what your goal is. Under Sec. 8.056 of the Texas Family Code, the person paying alimony must continue paying even after they remarry. However, if the spouse receiving payment remarries, then alimony is automatically terminated.
Don’t attempt to navigate the complexities of family law without the help of an experienced family lawyer. If you believe that you are eligible to stop paying alimony because of a former spouse’s new relationship, contact a lawyer. The experienced Woodlands family lawyers at BB Law Group PLLC can help gather the necessary evidence and fight for a favorable outcome.
Why Hire BB Law Group PLLC?
Whether due to career changes, retirement, or unexpected costs, financial circumstances change often. The experienced Woodlands alimony modification lawyers at BB Law Group PLLC have years of experience, both negotiating and litigating on behalf of their clients. For both child support and spousal maintenance payments, time is always a factor. Alimony modification allows for the court’s legal orders to catch up to the financial and situational realities of both parties as time goes on.
Eligibility for spousal alimony is conditional. No spouse should be on the hook for more alimony than they can afford. Likewise, no individual should receive the short end of the stick when their ex-partner is not paying as much as they should. To navigate these murky waters, contact a qualified alimony modification lawyer today to schedule a free consultation and create an air-tight case for successful modification.
Cases We Handle
When courts determine alimony, they consider a variety of factors, including the financial statuses of both parties, their potential job opportunities, their health conditions, and more. However, these factors can change over time, potentially making the alimony agreement outdated and a source of stress for either party. Fortunately, you do have the option to modify these arrangements, and at BB Law Group PLLC, our knowledgeable legal team can help with either of the following:
There is a range of possible evidence to prove supportive cohabitation, but this evidence is best gathered and presented by a skilled divorce attorney throughout a rigorous and thorough investigation. Permissible evidence may include photographic evidence, printed proof of a joint mortgage or lease, and a shared mailing address.
Not every relationship results in marriage. If you can prove to a judge that your former spouse has begun living with someone in a “supportive relationship,” alimony can be terminated. Texas has specific definitions for this type of relationship. In essence, the relationship must have marriage-like aspects such as the co-mingling of financial assets or cohabitation.
Circumstances Which Allow Support Modification
Spousal Maintenance Orders do not last indefinitely. When the court sets alimony, the court takes the financial circumstances of both parties into account. Life happens, though, and Texas courts allow for modification or even termination of alimony payments by either party. These modifications can only occur if specific criteria are met. Texas law allows for the adjustment of alimony payments under three particular circumstances:
- The level of support varies by 20% or more from the amount that should be awarded according to state guidelines
- Three or more years have passed since the alimony was modified or first established
- There has been a material and substantial change in circumstances for at least one party since the court decided on the initial amount
These material and significant changes in conditions can take several different forms and can apply to either the person paying or receiving alimony. For any modification or termination of alimony to occur, you (or your lawyer) must file a motion with the county clerk. At the next court hearing, both you and your former spouse must appear and will have the chance to present evidence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Divorce law can get complicated, especially in cases of disputed or shifting alimony payments. Individuals seeking to modify or terminate their alimony often have many questions. The best way to get all your pressing questions answered is to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly trained alimony modification attorneys. In the meantime, read over our frequently asked questions below. When you’re ready to discuss your situation with a member of our team, call our office at (832) 534-2589.
When Can I Petition a Modification Agreement?
Although Texas often enforces a three-year time limit before alimony can be adjusted, these time limits do not apply when there is a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if the person paying alimony suffers a medical crisis or becomes unemployed shortly after the court sets alimony, he or she can petition the court regardless of how much time has passed.
How Can I Prove that my Former Spouse is in a New Relationship?
In proving that the ex-spouse has entered into a supportive relationship with another person, your lawyer will show that the former spouse no longer needs your financial support. Any photographic, economic, or printed evidence of financial interdependence with a new partner is relevant. These records can help make the case that your ex-spouse may no longer need your alimony or spousal support. Alimony does not automatically terminate in Texas when the receiving ex-spouse enters a new relationship, though. A skilled lawyer will need to gather the proof and records necessary to convince the court that the new relationship is “supportive.”
Is Alimony Modification Merely an Appeal of the Original Ruling?
An individual cannot seek to modify the original alimony order simply because they believe the initial ruling was wrong. Family courts in Texas have no interest in re-litigating divorce and alimony cases. New evidence must be gathered and presented by both sides that convincingly demonstrate a change in circumstances since the initial ruling. Texas courts are committed to ensuring that both parties in a divorce agreement receive fair treatment. Here at BB Law Group PLLC, we have perfected our craft through years of negotiations, investigations, and trial proceedings, and we are passionate about protecting the rights and well-being of citizens of The Woodlands.
Contact a Woodlands Alimony Modification Lawyer Today
If you face significant economic changes that may affect an existing alimony agreement, you may need legal assistance in adapting the spousal support arrangement. Contact an experienced alimony attorney of BB Law Group PLLC today at (832) 534-2589 to discuss your situation.