Yesterday was Buzz Aldrin’s 83rd birthday and what better time than now to discuss his recent divorce from his third wife, Lois Driggs Cannon.  According to numerous reports including the Huffington Post article Buzz Aldrin And Ex-Wife Lois Driggs Cannon Settle Their Divorce, Lois is receiving one-half of Buzz Aldrin’s fortune. 

After 23 years of marriage, the parties signed their settlement agreement on December 28, 2012.  Lois is reportedly receiving one-half of their bank accounts, $9,500.00 per month in spousal support, her automobile, and 30% of Buzz Aldrin’s annual income.  

In a divorce in Texas, property division can be quite complicated when you have an estate the size of the Aldrins as well as the length of their 23 year marriage.  Texas does have spousal maintenance.  The laws changed recently with regards to the amount of monthly spousal maintenance as well as the length of time for the spousal support payments.  

There are numerous factors the Court considers when deciding if to award spousal maintenance to a spouse as well as the amount and duration of court ordered spousal maintenance.  Factors include the length of the marriage, the age of the spouses, the education of the spouses, the employability of the spouses, the size of the estate, the monthly reasonable and necessary expenses of the person requesting spousal maintenance, marital misconduct, and family violence. 

The following is a break-down of Texas’ Spousal Maintenance amount and duration:

The amount of Texas Spousal Maintenance is the lesser of the following:

a)         $5,000.00 or

b)         20% of the spouse’s monthly gross income

 The duration of Texas Spousal Maintenance is as follows:

a)         5 years if the parties were married 10 – 20 years

b)         7 years if the parties were married 20 – 30 years

c)         10 years if the parties were married over 30 years.

This is not meant to be a complete discussion of Texas Spousal Maintenance and if you believe you qualify to receive spousal maintenance, you should consult with an attorney.

 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.