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The divorce is over: Now, who pays what?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Firm News

After a divorce, who pays for what can be difficult to figure out. Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects of financial responsibilities after divorce in Texas, including spousal support, child support, and other related expenses.

Spousal Support (Alimony) in Texas

  1. Definition: In Texas, the terms alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance all mean the same thing. “Alimony”, in particular, is somewhat dated and was historically used to refer to support paid from a former husband to his now ex-wife. Nowadays, “spousal support” and “spousal maintenance” are the more common terms used in courts, and they apply regardless of gender.
  2. Types of Spousal Support:
    • Court-Ordered Spousal Maintenance: This type of support is court-ordered and resembles traditional alimony. The judge considers various factors about the couple and their marriage to determine:
      • Whether spousal maintenance is appropriate.
      • The amount of support.
      • The duration of support.
    • Contractual Maintenance: This refers to any other form of spousal support agreed upon by the parties.
  3. Limits on Spousal Support in Texas:
    • Texas imposes strict limits on the amount of support a spouse can receive.
    • Regardless of the paying spouse’s income, support cannot be more than $5,000 per month or 20 percent of their average gross monthly income (whichever is smaller).

Child Support and Medical Expenses

  1. Child Support:
    • The parent who does not have primary custody (the non-custodial parent) typically pays child support to the custodial parent.
    • Child support covers basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.
    • The amount is determined based on the non-custodial parent’s income and other factors.
    • Child support is mandatory under Texas law.
  2. Medical Support:
  3. Other Expenses:
    • Children’s School Expenses: These costs, such as tuition, school supplies, and extracurricular activities, are not part of the child support obligation, and are typically the responsibility of the custodial parent.
    • Child Care Costs: These are typically considered the responsibility of the custodial parent, but could be apportioned between the parties by agreement or by the order of the Court upon consideration of equitable factors.
    • Healthcare Costs: Beyond insurance, parents typically share additional medical expenses (e.g., copayments, prescriptions).
    • Extracurricular Activities: Costs related to sports, music lessons, or other activities are typically considered the responsibility of the custodial parent, but could be apportioned between the parties by agreement or by the order of the Court upon consideration of equitable factors

Remember that each divorce case is unique, and the court considers individual circumstances when making decisions. Consulting with a family law attorney is essential to understand your specific rights and obligations during and after divorce.

If you have further questions or need legal advice, call Sralla Family Law PLLC at 210-600-9565.

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