Texas Court Reverses $5000 Monthly Spousal Support Ruling

Texas law permits family courts to order one party to a marriage to pay spousal support, also known as alimony, to the other party under certain circumstances. In Texas, there is a statutory presumption to deny requests for spousal support, however, a divorcing spouse may be able to demonstrate that they are entitled to spousal support if certain conditions are met. The Texas Court of Appeal recently reversed a family court ruling that had awarded a woman the sum of $5000 per month in spousal support.

The parties in the recently decided appeal had been married for over 20 years when the husband filed for divorce in 2018. As part of the divorce proceeding, the wife requested that the family court grant her spousal support in order to help her support herself and the extensive bills that were owed to support the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. In addition to the needs-based request, the wife argued that she was entitled to spousal support because the husband was unfaithful leading up to the parties’ divorce.

At trial, the family court judge accepted testimony that the wife had approximately $11,000 in monthly expenses and found that an award of $5000 per month in spousal support was appropriate considering the circumstances. The trial court considered the husband’s infidelity in issuing the spousal support award. The husband appealed this ruling to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the wife needed to demonstrate that she needed the funds to support her minimum reasonable needs and that she was capable of supporting those needs without the spousal support award.

On appeal, the high court agreed with the husband’s arguments. The court found that in order to be eligible for any spousal support, a party must present evidence that it is needed to provide for their minimum reasonable needs, as well as evidence that the receiving party would be unable to support those needs without the award. The appeals court noted that family courts are only permitted to consider factors such as the infidelity of the payor spouse after determining that the receiving spouse is eligible for spousal support in the first place. Because the wife presented no evidence that she needed the money to support her minimum reasonable needs, the Court reversed the award. Based on the most recent ruling, the wife will not be receiving spousal support from her ex-husband.

Speak with a Dallas Divorce Lawyer About Your Situation Today

If you or a loved one is facing a divorce, there are many factors that can play into the amount of child support or spousal support that one party may be entitled to. Family courts do not always make decisions that are in accordance with the law, and it is important to have a qualified Texas divorce attorney by your side to advocate on your behalf and prevent an unfavorable ruling or costly appeal. The experienced Dallas family law attorneys with Guest and Gray know how to best address a claim for spousal support or alimony, and with our representation, you can be confident that you have the best chance of a desired result. If you have any questions about a family law issue, contact us to discuss your case. Call our offices at 972-564-4644 and schedule a free consultation today.

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