Fort Worth Divorce Attorneys for High-Asset Spousal and Child Support
Spousal support and child support payments are meant to help a dependent spouse through a period of financial instability and make certain a child’s needs are met. However, in high-asset divorce and custody cases, one party may claim his or her needs require support beyond the amounts typically granted. You must make sure that the court balances these requests with the reasonable needs of the spouse or child.
At The Law Office of Gary L. Nickelson, we have the knowledge and experience you need to protect yourself or your child during a high-asset divorce. We understand the needs of high net-worth individuals and families. As one of the leading family law firms in the Fort Worth area, we have worked with many people with large estates.
Understanding Spousal Maintenance and Alimony in Texas
In Texas, spousal support is called spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is rarely granted except in marriages of 10 or more years in which one spouse has few assets, a low earning potential and cannot provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs after the divorce. The length of spousal maintenance is determined by the length of the marriage. It can be awarded for up to 10 years if you have a 30-year-plus marriage. The court can award up to $5,000 per month in spousal maintenance, depending upon a myriad of factors.
Contractual alimony is a contractual obligation that may be part of a divorce settlement; it is not granted by the court. People may stipulate that alimony be paid as part of the settlement or it may have been provided for in a pre- or postmarital agreement. Whether it is alimony or spousal maintenance, however, you may need to argue for an amount that is fair under the specific facts of your case.
Understanding Texas Child Support
Texas follows statutory guidelines for determining the amount of child support. In general, the noncustodial parent pays 20 percent of his or her net resources for one child and 25 percent for two children. The maximum child support payment is currently based on a net resources/income of $7,500 per month, but the court has discretion in these situations.
A parent may be able to argue that a child from a high-income family has needs greater than the maximum payment can cover. The court has discretion to grant an increase in child support if the need for these expenses can be proven. In such cases, the reasonable needs of the child may include expensive extracurricular activities, sporting equipment, clothing, tutors and travel.