Understanding Spousal Support
In many cases, a divorce will lead to one spouse paying spousal support, also known as alimony, to the ex-spouse. Although this court ruling might seem simple, it is actually a challenging matter typically rife in disagreements and upset. For this reason, you should retain a spousal support attorney in Collin County TX
When Spousal Support Is Awarded
Every state has its own laws pertaining to marriage and divorce. The laws give guidance on how a court can order spousal support, but it is ultimately up to the judge. Most judges will take into considerations such as:
- The standard of living each spouse enjoyed during their marriage
- Each spouse’s financial condition and income
- The emotional wellbeing of each person
- The age of both spouses
- Whether or not minor children are involved
- The ability for one spouse to pay for support
- Whether or not adultery was involved
There are many other factors concerning this matter. A spousal support attorney Collin County TX has to offer can discuss the details of your own case during a consultation.
The Amount of Spousal Support Granted
In general, the amount of an alimony award will depend on how much a spouse will need for maintenance which could include things such as:
- Shelter, food, and clothing
- Transportation costs
- Household expenses
- Other necessities
- Educational/training costs
A court usually does not take into consideration things that include:
- Contributions towards a savings account
- Vacation expenses
- Recreational expenses
- Living an unusually lavish lifestyle
A judge does not have to grant or deny spousal support under any specific factors. Usually, the judge will allow it when a spousal support attorney Collin County TX respects can convince him or her that the spouse needs it. If this is not possible, there is a chance it won’t be awarded.
The payments may be made on a periodical or monthly basis, or in a lump sum. This will depend on how much the paying spouse can afford. If a lump sum is paid, there could be tax consequences for the recipient. A spousal support attorney Collin County TX trusts can discuss whether or not this holds true for your case during a consultation. The length of time that alimony is paid out can vary, but will typically reflect situations such as:
- When the recipient remarries
- When the paying spouse passes away
- When the judge orders a date for terminating the payouts
FAQ: Can my ex spouse sue me for alimony after I have filed for bankruptcy?
If you owe alimony payments or spousal support to your ex-partner, and if you have filed for bankruptcy, you should consult a lawyer to learn about specific options pertaining to your situation. Scroggins Law Group has over 20 years of experience helping people navigate the complex legal system that encompasses divorce law. Guided by experience and determination, we work hard to get results for our clients.
Can my ex spouse sue me for alimony after I have filed for bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy can give you a fresh start, but not all of your debts will be cleared. Alimony is one of these debts that is nondischargeable, which means you are still obligated to pay your spouse for any back payments. If you do not oblige, he or she can sue you.
Understanding the Automatic Stay
As soon as you file for bankruptcy in Collin County TX, with or without a lawyer, an automatic stay will go into immediate effect. This will temporarily halt any effort made by creditors and debt collectors, including calls, letters, and lawsuits. The automatic stay can be a relief, but it will not halt your obligations to pay your ex-spouse alimony or child support. If you fail to do so, this debt will compile and could be pursued through legal action with the help of a lawyer.
Alimony as a Nondischargeable Debt
When it comes to alimony and bankruptcy, you will not be able to eliminate past due alimony payments by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The exception to this may be when both parties agreed to label another asset as “alimony” during a divorce. For example, if your and your ex-spouse agreed upon property settlement payments as being alimony, it might be dischargeable. Alimony might also be dischargeable when the recipient has assigned their collection rights to a third party. In this case the third party will need to be served a bankruptcy notice. To learn more about these possible options, please consult a spousal support attorney.
When You Don’t Pay Alimony
If you are unable, or refuse, to pay alimony payments, the court can enforce the order and place you in contempt. This could result in fines, fees, or jail time. The court can also garnish your wages or hold your tax returns. Keep in mind that if you do file for bankruptcy, and you’ve obtained a discharge of all or some of your debt, your ex-spouse could take you back to court and argue that you now have more disposable income. As a result you might find yourself being ordered to pay more in alimony payments. This is not to say you should not file for bankruptcy, but rather, you should carefully weigh out your options. You may also want to talk with a spousal support attorney in Collin County TX to learn more about alternative solutions or to arrange for alimony mediation sessions with your former spouse.
Schedule a Consultation with a Spousal Support Attorney
Spousal support is one of the most contested issues in divorce proceedings. It heightens stress levels and can cause big arguments that may create a domino effect of problems. Whether you are seeking alimony or challenging your ex-spouse, don’t hesitate to speak with a spousal support attorney from Scroggins Law Group
for more information.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with a spousal support attorney Collin County TX families trust about alimony payments, bankruptcy, or divorce, please call Scroggins Law Group today.