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Can I Trade Alimony for More of the Marital Estate?

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in Divorce

Texas divorce attorney-mediatorWhen a couple gets divorced in Texas, they must negotiate fairly weighty financial matters. In addition to dividing their marital property and debt, a couple must negotiate spousal maintenance (also known as alimony), and, if they have minor children, establish child support payments as well. This can involve a lot of fact-gathering and documentation as a couple seeks to assess their valuables, home, and more. 

Not all divorcees will qualify for spousal maintenance. In fact, Texas has strict guidelines for how a couple can determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate in their case. Because Texas courts prefer couples to negotiate their divorce decrees outside of protracted, expensive courtroom litigation, couples often have a surprising amount of flexibility when it comes to designing a settlement that works for both parties. A skilled attorney-mediator can help spouses reach an agreement during mediation that feels fair while saving money and time on court fees and hearings. 

When Does a Spouse Qualify for Alimony in Texas? 

When courts have to determine spousal maintenance for a couple, they look at many factors. These include: 

  • How long the couple was married
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence in the last two years
  • Whether one spouse gave up significant work opportunities to raise children and care for a house 
  • Whether one spouse requires extra training, education, or time to earn a sufficient income
  • The resources available to each spouse, including the resources from dividing marital property in a divorce 

There are further factors that can complicate alimony calculations, and an attorney can help you understand them all. Spouses are advised to consider these factors as they negotiate spousal maintenance between themselves. 

While child support guidelines are established by the state, alimony and marital property division are not. Within reasonable confines, spouses can negotiate a financial deal that feels fair and practical to them both. One spouse may propose getting a set amount of spousal maintenance in a lump sum, rather than in payments over many years. Or he or she may want to trade a greater share of the marital home for spousal maintenance payments. As long as both spouses agree and the deal is reasonable and fair, a judge is likely to approve it. 

Contact a Collin County Divorce Attorney-Mediator

To ensure a fair and satisfactory division in your Texas divorce, it is essential to understand your options under the law. Learn more by contacting a Plano, TX divorce attorney-mediator with Divorce Mediation Centers of America. We have the skills and experience to help guide you through an amicable divorce using mediation as a source of effective communication and exchange. Call us today at 469-406-4320



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