Texas requires full financial disclosure if one spouse seeks alimony or spousal payments. The current Texas statutes outlining spousal maintenance, or alimony, went into effect in September of 1995, state that courts will only award alimony if:
- The marriage lasted 10 years or more and the spouse seeking support can prove that she cannot provide for her basic needs
- There is a domestic violence conviction against the awarding spouse
- The seeking spouse cannot provide for herself due to a physical or mental disability, or
- The seeking spouse has custody of a special needs child
Under this law, support for qualifying former spouses may be court-ordered or agreed to in mediation.
Despite the fact that these statutes have been on the books for more than two decades now, this area of Texas law continues to evolve and is very complex. If you hope to obtain spousal support in your divorce settlement, be sure to discuss your specific situation with a Texas divorce lawyer.
How do spouses disclose financial information in a Texas divorce?
In Texas, both parties disclose their income and debt on a financial affidavit called a Proposed Support Decision and Information form. This form plays a pivotal role in all support calculations and awards, including determining alimony eligibility and maintenance amount.
In general, these forms offer a quick look at each spouse’s current financial situation, accomplished through completing a series of questions that survey income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Because they are legal documents, both sides must disclose all assets or face the consequences of perjury.
What financial information must I disclose?
The Proposed Support Decision and Information form requires that you list any income you have no matter the source. The form will also ask you to list any liabilities and will allow you to account for some qualifying deductions. Your attorney or divorce financial planner can help you determine what needs to be included in this section. It may include:
- Health insurance premiums
- Union dues
- Credit card bills
- Mortgage payments
- Car payments
You may also have to disclose intangible assets, such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights, as they may play a role in property settlements and alimony determinations.
Do I need an attorney?
Having incorrect or incomplete financial information can have a huge impact on your divorce settlement, including child support, property division, and alimony. At the Law Offices of Julie Johnson, our spousal support lawyers will ensure you submit all the proper information and can look for inconsistencies in your spouse’s submissions to determine if he or she may be attempting to hide assets. For more information on how the Texas Divorce Lawyer can help you get the settlement you deserve, contact us today at 214-265-7630.