Domestic Violence and Spousal Support
It is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to lack the financial resources to provide for their basic needs. As such, many people remain in abusive marriages because they fear they will not have the means to support themselves if they leave. Fortunately, Texas law permits the courts to grant spousal support in divorce actions involving domestic violence to provide victims of abuse the means to move forward with their lives without being subject to continued threats or harm. If you are the victim of domestic violence or have been accused of engaging in violence against your spouse, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney about domestic violence and spousal support under Texas law. The skilled Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group can analyze the facts of your case and develop a strategy designed to help you seek a just outcome.Domestic Violence and Spousal Support Under Texas Law
Domestic violence, also known as family violence, refers to abusive behavior within intimate relationships or family units. Under the Texas Family Code (the Code), domestic violence includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as any act that threatens imminent harm or causes the victim to fear for their safety.
The Code permits the Texas courts to order one spouse to pay the other support as part of a divorce settlement. The Code limits the circumstances under which the courts can grant spousal support. In all cases, the party seeking support must demonstrate that after the marriage is dissolved, they will not have adequate property to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. If a court finds that the party seeking support demonstrates a need, they can order the other spouse to pay support if there were convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a crime that is considered an act of family violence. The crime in question must have been committed against the spouse seeking support or their child within the two years prior to when the divorce action was filed or while the divorce action is pending.
It is important to note that allegations of domestic violence alone are not sufficient grounds for granting spousal support under the Texas Code. In other words, the courts cannot compel a person to pay spousal support on the basis that they committed domestic violence merely because they were arrested for a domestic violence offense. They may be ordered to pay support on other grounds, however.
The courts will consider numerous factors, including any history of domestic violence when determining the amount, duration, and nature of spousal support. How long spousal support endures largely depends on the length of the marriage. Specifically, the Code provides that in cases in which the parties were married for less than ten years and the party paying support engaged in acts of domestic violence, support may be granted for up to five years. The five-year support limit also applies in cases in which the parties were married for more than ten but not more than twenty years, regardless of whether domestic violence occurred. Similarly, support can endure for up to seven years for marriages lasting at least twenty years but less than thirty and for up to ten years in divorce actions involving marriages that were longer than thirty years, irrespective of any proof of domestic violence.Talk to a Capable Dallas Attorney
Domestic violence impacts all walks of life, and many people in abusive marriages fear not only that they will face a greater risk of harm but also that they will face significant financial ramifications if they decide to seek a divorce. Under Texas law, however, the courts will often grant domestic violence victims the economic support they need to move forward with their lives. If you are interested in learning more about domestic violence and spousal support in Texas, it is wise to talk to an attorney. The capable Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group can inform you of what measures you can take to protect your interests and aid you in pursuing the best legal result possible under the facts of your case. We frequently represent parties in family-law matters in Dallas, Richardson, McKinney, Rockwall, Irving, Fort Worth, Garland, Frisco, and other cities within Dallas, Rockwall, Grayson, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at 214.692.8200 to set up a meeting.