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What is Alimony and How Can I Receive It?

Posted on in Divorce

Galveston Alimony LawyerYou might have heard of the word alimony before. Perhaps you have heard the term on television or you are considering a divorce and learning about the process. Yet, you may still be unsure about what the term actually means. In this article, we will address the basic elements of alimony in the state of Texas. If you need answers about alimony that are tailored to your unique situation, contact a Texas family law attorney who can help.

What is the Definition of the Term Alimony?

In the Lone Star State, there is a specific legal term for the word alimony. According to state law, alimony is referred to as "spousal maintenance." As the legal term implies, one partner is required to make payments to the other. Sometimes, one spouse is ordered to pay spousal maintenance while the divorce is ongoing. This is especially common if the other spouse was a stay-at-home parent without access to money. However, usually spousal maintenance is ordered as part of a divorce decree. 

How is Spousal Maintenance Decided?

Spouses are encouraged to come up with an agreement about spousal maintenance on their own. They may need to attend mediation sessions to find an agreement that seems fair to both parties.


Galveston Child Custody LawyerDivorce is rarely a simple process, and it can become especially complex when children are involved. Many of the key decisions that divorcing parents must make will be related to child custody arrangements. In Texas, family courts encourage shared parenting and believe that it is in the best interest of the child to have both parents actively involved in their lives. Most of the time, parents will be able to share custody. To ensure that issues related to your children will be addressed correctly during your divorce, you will need to understand how Texas laws address “joint managing conservatorship.”

Texas Laws on Child Custody

When addressing issues related to child custody during a divorce, Texas follows the "best interests of the child" standard. This means that any decisions made by the court regarding child custody must prioritize what is best for the child's well-being.

Texas recognizes two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody, which is also known as conservatorship, refers to a parent's right to make important decisions about their child's life, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Physical custody pertains to where the child primarily resides and when they will live with or spend in the care of each parent.


Galveston County Business Asset Division LawyerThe divorce process can involve a number of difficulties, and the decisions made about property division and other issues can affect you financially for years to come. When you own a business, the stakes can become even higher. Protecting your business interests during a divorce requires careful planning and the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney. If you are a business owner going through a divorce in Galveston, Texas, the experienced attorney at Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C. is here to help.

The Importance of a Proper Business Valuation

One of the key steps in protecting your business during a divorce is ensuring that it is properly valued. A business valuation is crucial for determining how assets and debts can be divided fairly between you and your spouse. Consulting with a forensic accountant or business valuation expert can help provide an accurate assessment of your business's worth. This will not only give you an understanding of the current monetary value of the business, but it can also inform you about the benefits you can expect to receive as your business grows in the future.

Safeguarding Your Business Assets

To protect your business, it is important to take proactive measures. Some strategies may include:


Galveston, TX Divorce Lawyer Assisting with Spousal Support CasesGetting a divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, and it will involve numerous issues related to a couple's finances, the property they own, their children, their living situations, and much more. While completing the divorce process can be a relief, there are some issues that may continue to affect ex-spouses after their marriage has been terminated. In some cases, spousal support (alimony) may be ordered, and one party will be required to make ongoing payments to the other. However, circumstances can change in the years following a divorce, and couples will need to understand when alimony payments may be modified or terminated.

When Can Changes Be Made to Spousal Support Orders?

According to the Texas Family Code, spousal support, which is also known as "maintenance," is awarded based on various factors, including the ability of each party to provide for their own needs, the property and financial resources available to each spouse, and their respective levels of education and other factors that may affect their employability. If any significant changes occur in the circumstances of either party after the divorce decree has been finalized, an ex-spouse may file a request to modify or terminate spousal support.

Changes in circumstances that may allow for a modification of spousal support will usually be related to significant life events, such as the loss of a job, a serious medical condition, or an improvement in the financial situation of the spouse receiving support. If an ex-spouse who is required to pay support experiences financial issues that affect their ability to pay, they may submit a request asking for payments to be reduced or terminated altogether. On the other hand, if the receiving spouse experiences problems that could affect their ability to eventually become self-supporting, such as a permanent disability, they may ask for support payments to be extended beyond when they would have been expected to end.


Galveston, TX High Net Worth Asset Division Divorce LawyerDuring a divorce, a couple will need to decide how to divide their property. This can be complicated and emotionally-difficult process, regardless of the circumstances of the case. However, property division can be especially complex in high net worth divorces, because higher amounts of money and more valuable assets will be involved. While the basic principles of property division remain the same, there are some unique issues that must be considered when it comes to a high net worth divorce.

Characterization of Assets

The first step in dividing property is determining how each asset should be characterized. In most cases, assets will either be defined as either community or separate property. Community property typically includes any assets acquired during the marriage, while separate property includes assets acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage or through an inheritance or gift.

In some cases, however, assets may not fall neatly into one category or another. For instance, if one spouse owned a business before getting married but then used marital funds and labor to expand the business during the marriage, this could lead to complex characterization issues that may require the help of financial experts to resolve. For example, a forensic accountant may be able to trace assets back to their source and determine whether they originated as separate property or were purchased or otherwise acquired through the use of marital funds or income earned during the marriage.


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