Galveston Child Support and Spousal Support Attorney

Tad Nelson & Associates: Child Support and Spousal Support — Friendswood, Galveston, League City, Texas

Divorce often involves a complex web of emotional and financial considerations. With respect to the latter, two issues that are often sticking points include child support and spousal support. Ideally, the parties can reach an amicable solution.

At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we can help you reach that solution. Our experienced Houston family law attorneys assist individuals in Harris and Galveston County understand the law governing child support and spousal support in Texas. We can review your situation and give you an honest appraisal of how much you can expect to receive (or pay) in support.

How Child Support Works in Texas

Chapter 154 of the Texas Family Code establishes the legal rules that a court must follow in ordering child support. A judge can order either or both parents to pay support until the child is 18 or graduates high school, whichever is later. In cases where the child was disabled before reaching 18 years of age, the court may order a parent to continue paying child support “for an indefinite period.”

Texas has basic guidelines for calculating child support based on a parent’s net income. But a judge may vary from the guidelines if he determines it is in the “best interest of the child.” The Family Code specifies 17 separate factors that a judge may consider when making such a determination.

How Spousal Support Works in Texas

Spousal support–technically known as “maintenance” in Texas–is designed to be a temporary award to help one spouse provide for his or her “minimum reasonable needs” following a divorce. Except in cases involving domestic violence, the spouse seeking alimony must demonstrate financial need. Under Section 8.051 of the Family Code, there are three basic situations where financial need exists:

  1. The requesting spouse an “incapacitating physical or mental disability”;
  2. The parties were married at least 10 years and the requesting spouse “lacks the ability to earn sufficient income”; or
  3. The requesting spouse must care for a child of the marriage who suffers from a disability that requires “substantial care” and prevents the spouse from working outside the home.

As with child support, there are a number of statutory factors that a court will examine when deciding how much spousal support to order, if any. But remember, the burden of proof is on the requesting spouse to rebut the legal resumption that maintenance is unnecessary.

Need Help Establishing, Contesting, or Modifying a Support Order?

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates represents clients on both sides of child support and spousal support disputes. In many cases we also help seek modification of existing support orders. Whatever your situation, contact us today at (281) 962-7817 if you live in Galveston or League City and would like to schedule a consultation.