Continued from page 1
For example, a party in a high tax bracket can agree to make monthly alimony payments in exchange for a more favorable property division. If receiving party is in a lower tax bracket, overall income tax paid could be significantly lower than what it would be otherwise.
Another factor to consider is how rarely Texas trial courts order maintenance, absent an agreement. The statute allows for maintenance only when specific statutory circumstances have been proven. There are several appellate cases that have reversed trial court decisions ordering maintenance when requesting party did not provide sufficient proof that standard had been met.
In cases where there is a large amount of community property, one of most effective arguments in attempting to defeat a maintenance claim is that requesting party will have ample resources to provide for their needs since party will receive a significant amount of assets from division of property.
Another common argument used to defeat a maintenance claim is that, during pendency of divorce, requesting party has not made significant attempts to either obtain employment or obtain training that would allow party to obtain employment.
As an example, lets take a divorce case where wife is requesting maintenance on grounds that marriage is longer than ten years and that she lacks earning ability to meet her minimum reasonable needs.
If, case has been pending for several months and at time of trial she has still made no effort to obtain employment or improve her job skills, it will be a difficult claim to succeed upon. The court is unlikely to find that she is "unable" to meet her reasonable minimum needs and more likely to believe that she is unwilling to take necessary steps in order to provide for her own support.
Alimony in Texas, while rarely ordered, is an important and complicated issue. It can be used as an effective settlement tool and can potentially be a significant trial issue. For someone involved in a Texas divorce case with a potential alimony issue, issue should be discussed in detail with an experienced divorce lawyer.
Scott Morgan is a practicing Texas divorce attorney. For more information on texas divorce visit his website at http://www.texas-divorce-info.com . The website provides general information and resources on divorce, as well as specific information on Texas divorce law.