Texas Divorce Spousal Maintenance Calculator

April 15th, 2014

Texas is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to ordering spousal support; or “maintenance” as it is defined in the Texas statute. Texas House Bill 901 changing the spousal maintenance law in the Texas Family Code became effective for divorce cases on September 1, 2011. The bill revised the conditions that establish eligibility for spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony and changed the factors required to be considered by a court in determining the nature, amount, duration, and manner of periodic payments for a spouse who is eligible to receive maintenance.

The court that determines a spouse is eligible to receive maintenance shall determine the nature, amount, duration, and manner of periodic payments by considering all relevant factors, including:

(1) each spouse’s ability to provide for that spouse’s minimum reasonable needs independently, considering that spouse’s financial resources on dissolution of the marriage;

(2) the education and employment skills of the spouses, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income, and the availability and feasibility of that education or training;

(3) the duration of the marriage;

(4) the age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;

(5) the effect on each spouse’s ability to provide for that spouse’s minimum reasonable needs while providing periodic child support payments or maintenance, if applicable;

(6) acts by either spouse resulting in excessive or abnormal expenditures or destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community property, joint tenancy, or other property held in common;

(7) the contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;

(8) the property brought to the marriage by either spouse;

(9) the contribution of a spouse as homemaker;

(10) Marital misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment, by either spouse during the marriage; and

(11) Any history or pattern of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004 of the Texas Family Code.

The maximum amount of spousal support that courts may award is the lesser of $5,000.00 per month or 20 percent of the payer’s average gross monthly income. This is the maximum amount of maintenance the court orders.

However, in all circumstances, the law provides that the Court shall order maintenance for the shortest reasonable period that allows the recipient to earn sufficient income to meet his or her “minimum reasonable needs” and as follows:

The Texas law mandates the maximum duration of support as follows:
Maintenance shall be paid for a maximum of:

• 5 years, if due to family violence conviction and marriage is under 10 years;
• 5 years, if marriage is between 10 and 20 years;
• 7 years, if marriage is between 20 and 30 years;
• 10 years, if marriage is 30 years or more;
except in the case of an incapacitating physical or mental disability, in which case the award may last as long as the disability.

In addition, the law allows the Texas Family Law Courts to terminate maintenance if the recipient “cohabits with another person in a permanent place of abode on a continuing, conjugal basis.”

Sample Calculation of Texas Spousal Support Maintenance:

 

Texas Divorce Checklist: Planning Ahead

December 19th, 2013

Preparing for a Texas Divorce:  Assets
Preparing for a divorce is painful no matter the circumstance. Before you get into the tangle of the Texas divorce process, you can reduce the expense, stress and conflict many people face by making sure you are prepared. Planning ahead allows you to make sound decisions and start preparing for your life post-divorce, and may also help you avoid post-divorce pitfalls. Below is a list of items you need to gather before counseling with an attorney.

Documents

1. A Listing of all Real Property, address and location, including (include time-shares and vacation properties):
1. Deeds of Trust
2. Notes
3. Legal Description
4. Mortgage Companies (Name, Address, Telephone Number, Account Number, Balance of Note, Monthly Payments)
5. Current fair market value

2. Cash and accounts with financial institutions (checking, savings, commercial bank accounts, credit union funds, IRA’s, CD’s, 401K’s, pension plans and any other form of retirement accounts):
1. Name of institution, address and telephone number
2. Amount in institution on date of marriage
3. Amount in institution currently
4. Account Number
5. Names on Account

3. Retirement Benefits
1. Exact name of plan
2. Address of plan administrator
3. Employer
4. Employee
5. Starting date of contributions
6. Amount in account on date of marriage
7. Amount currently in account
8. Balance of any loan against plan

4. Publicly traded stock, bonds and other securities (include securities not in a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account):
1. Number of shares
2. Type of securities
3. Certificate numbers
4. In possession of
5. Name of exchange which listed
6. Pledged as collateral?
7. Date acquired
8. Tax basis
9. Current market value
10. If stock (date option granted, number of shares and value per share)

5. Insurance and Annuities
1. Name of insurance company
2. Policy Number
3. Insured
4. Type of insurance (whole/term/universal)
5. Amount of monthly premiums
6. Date of Issue
7. Face amount
8. Cash surrender value
9. Current surrender value
10. Designated beneficiary

6. Closely held business interests:
1. Name of business
2. Address
3. Type of business
4. % of ownership
5. Number of shares owned if applicable
6. Value of shares
7. Balance of accounts receivables
8. Cash flow reports
9. Balance of liabilities
10. List of company assets

7. Mineral Interests (include any property in which you own the mineral estate, separate and apart from the surface estate, such as oil and gas leases; also include royalty interests, work interests, and producing and non-producing oil and gas wells.
1. Name of mineral interest
2. Type of interest
3. County of location
4. Legal description
5. Name of producer/operator
6. Current market value

8. Motor Vehicles (including mobile homes, boats, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles; exclude company owned)
1. Year
2. Make
3. Model
4. Value
5. Name on title
6. VIN Number
7. Fair Market Value
8. Name of creditor (if any), address and telephone
9. Persons listed on debt
10. Account number
11. Balance of any loan and monthly payment
12. Net Equity in vehicle

9. Money owed by spouse (including any expected federal or state income tax refund but not including receivables connected with any business)

10. Household furniture, furnishings and Fixtures

11. Electronics and computers

12. Antiques, artwork and collectibles (including works of art, paintings, tapestry, rugs, crystal, coin or stamp collections)

13. Miscellaneous sporting goods and firearms

14. Jewelry

15. Animals and livestock

16. Farming equipment

17. Club Memberships

18. Travel Award Benefits (including frequent flyer miles)

19. Safe deposit box items

20. Burial plots

21. Items in any storage facility

22. A listing of separate property (property prior to marriage, family heir looms, property gifted)

23. Listing of all liabilities (including mortgages, credit card debt, personal loans, automobile loans, etc.):
a. Name of entity, address and telephone number
b. Account number
c. Amount owed
d. Monthly payment
e. Property securing payment (if any)
f. Persons listed as liable for debt

Preparing for a Texas Divorce : Financial Checklist

May 14th, 2013

Getting Divorced? Here is Your Financial Checklist to Get Started.

Preparing for a Texas Divorce: Assets
Preparing for a divorce is painful no matter the circumstance. Before you get into the tangle of the Texas divorce process, you can reduce the expense, stress and conflict many people face by making sure you are prepared. Planning ahead allows you to make sound decisions and start preparing for your life post-divorce, and may also help you avoid post-divorce pitfalls. Below is a list of items you need to gather before counseling with an attorney.

Documents
1. A Listing of all Real Property, address and location, including (include time-shares and vacation properties):
1. Deeds of Trust
2. Notes
3. Legal Description
4. Mortgage Companies (Name, Address, Telephone Number, Account Number, Balance of Note, Monthly Payments)
5. Current fair market value

2. Cash and accounts with financial institutions (checking, savings, commercial bank accounts, credit union funds, IRA’s, CD’s, 401K’s, pension plans and any other form of retirement accounts):
1. Name of institution, address and telephone number
2. Amount in institution on date of marriage
3. Amount in institution currently
4. Account Number
5. Names on Account

3. Retirement Benefits
1. Exact name of plan
2. Address of plan administrator
3. Employer
4. Employee
5. Starting date of contributions
6. Amount in account on date of marriage
7. Amount currently in account
8. Balance of any loan against plan

4. Publicly traded stock, bonds and other securities (include securities not in a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account):
1. Number of shares
2. Type of securities
3. Certificate numbers
4. In possession of
5. Name of exchange which listed
6. Pledged as collateral?
7. Date acquired
8. Tax basis
9. Current market value
10. If stock (date option granted, number of shares and value per share)

5. Insurance and Annuities
1. Name of insurance company
2. Policy Number
3. Insured
4. Type of insurance (whole/term/universal)
5. Amount of monthly premiums
6. Date of Issue
7. Face amount
8. Cash surrender value
9. Current surrender value
10. Designated beneficiary

6. Closely held business interests:
1. Name of business
2. Address
3. Type of business
4. % of ownership
5. Number of shares owned if applicable
6. Value of shares
7. Balance of accounts receivables
8. Cash flow reports
9. Balance of liabilities
10. List of company assets

7. Mineral Interests (include any property in which you own the mineral estate, separate and apart from the surface estate, such as oil and gas leases; also include royalty interests, work interests, and producing and non-producing oil and gas wells.
1. Name of mineral interest
2. Type of interest
3. County of location
4. Legal description
5. Name of producer/operator
6. Current market value

8. Motor Vehicles (including mobile homes, boats, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles; exclude company owned)
1. Year
2. Make
3. Model
4. Value
5. Name on title
6. VIN Number
7. Fair Market Value
8. Name of creditor (if any), address and telephone
9. Persons listed on debt
10. Account number
11. Balance of any loan and monthly payment
12. Net Equity in vehicle

9. Money owed by spouse (including any expected federal or state income tax refund but not including receivables connected with any business)

10. Household furniture, furnishings and Fixtures

11. Electronics and computers

12. Antiques, artwork and collectibles (including works of art, paintings, tapestry, rugs, crystal, coin or stamp collections)

13. Miscellaneous sporting goods and firearms

14. Jewelry

15. Animals and livestock

16. Farming equipment

17. Club Memberships

18. Travel Award Benefits (including frequent flyer miles)

19. Safe deposit box items

20. Burial plots

21. Items in any storage facility

22. A listing of separate property (property prior to marriage, family heir looms, property gifted)

23. Listing of all liabilities (including mortgages, credit card debt, personal loans, automobile loans, etc.):
a. Name of entity, address and telephone number
b. Account number
c. Amount owed
d. Monthly payment
e. Property securing payment (if any)
f. Persons listed as liable for debt

Serving clients throughout Texas, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties and the communities of Addison, Allen, Arlington, Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Highland Park, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park, Murphy,Wylie, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, along with surrounding DFW areas.