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Will you have to pay spousal support if you earn more?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | Divorce

When you get a divorce, one of the things you may be worried about is if you’ll have to pay spousal support to your ex. If you’re the higher earner, there is a risk that you could be asked to pay support, but that’s not always going to be the case.

If you do earn more, you can generally expect to pay spousal maintenance if your spouse needs additional support and requests it through the court. Usually, the courts in Texas like you to resolve your spousal maintenance concerns outside of court. So, if you agree with your spouse that they should be paid an additional $100, $200 or more monthly, then that agreement can be upheld.

Texas makes it notoriously difficult for people to get spousal maintenance. It’s usually better to work out a support arrangement privately than to go to court to handle the situation. If you do have to go to court over your spouse requesting support, you’ll have the opportunity to defend against having to pay.

Spousal support isn’t mandatory

Spousal support isn’t mandatory, which means that you may not be obligated to pay your spouse even if they want support. However, if your spouse has been reliant on you for a long period of time or has a job that won’t support them without your additional financial support, you could end up making spousal support payments for a limited time.

Typically, the person seeking support needs to lack enough property or financial support to provide for their own minimal, reasonable needs. If your spouse can prove this, then the court may decide to order spousal maintenance.

You can defend against paying spousal support

There are different ways to avoid paying spousal maintenance, such as giving your spouse a larger portion of your shared marital assets or agreeing on a lump sum payment of cash before you resolve your divorce. If you don’t want to be obligated to a long-term support payment schedule, you may want to look into the legal options you have to minimize the risk of going to divorce court over the issue.