September 1, 2013 marked the date for changes to the Texas spousal maintenance statutes. Specifically, the Texas Legislature clarified a Court's ability to enforce by contempt a person's violation of payment of Chapter 8 spousal maintenance.… Continue Reading
Who is eligible for “maintenance” in Texas? Determining eligibility for an award of maintenance in Texas begins with evaluating whether the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property after the divorce to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs. If so, then a spouse can be awarded alimony/maintenance under the Texas Family Code only if … Continue Reading
Where did “maintenance” in Texas come from? Is it the same thing as “alimony”? Traditionally, Texas law did not favor awards of alimony and the Texas Constitution specifically prohibited it. In 1967, the Texas Supreme Court distinguished between court-ordered alimony and agreements between spouses upon divorce to pay alimony, allowing agreements to stand even where a … Continue Reading
Dallas divorce attorney Michelle May O'Neil and her client prevailed yesterday, February 4, 2010, when the Fifth Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Kee v. Kee, Cause No. 05-08-00013-CV. The appeal in Kee arose from an ex-wife's appeal of the trial court's refusal to garnish ex-husband's wages to satisfy his contractual alimony obligation. The trial court in this case rightfully found the garnishment that ex-wife requested would violate ex-husband's constitutional rights. The Dallas Court of Appeals agreed… Continue Reading
In my previous post about spousal maintenance I discussed eligibility requirements. In this post, I'll address the various methods of collecting and enforcing spousal maintenance awards.
If the court grants an award for spousal maintenance, the judgment dissolving the marriage must reflect this. The spousal support order should state who will receive the payments and who will make the payments. Tex. Fam. Code Sect. 8.001(3)(4). The order must state how the spousal maintenance payments are to be made (i.e., by cash, check, and how frequently) and where they are to be sent. Tex. Fam. Code Sect. 8.052. Finally, the spousal maintenance order must state the duration of the maintenance. Tex. Fam. Code Sect. 8.052.… Continue Reading