My ex-husband is a successful business man. We divorced three years ago and he moved to New York immediately. Four months ago, he stopped making alimony payments. What can I do here in Houston to help this?

You definitely need to seek legal counsel from a trusted Houston divorce law firm.  Texas courts most often limit alimony payment to three years.  It would be a good starting point to review your divorce decree to see what time limits there may be on alimony payments (“spousal maintenance”) that your husband is required to make to you.

In the state of Texas, time limits of spousal maintenance are set out in the Family Code, unless the parties agree to a different time frame. The Family Code in the state of Texas says the support order is not effective after three (3) years, with the date the divorce decree was signed as the starting time. Of course, it is possible that wording in your own particular divorce degree may supersede this.

The courts of Texas generally limit the spousal support to the shortest possible time for the spouse to begin employment which will provide for his/her “minimal reasonable needs”. Only a disability can continue the time frame indefinitely, and once the disability has been removed, then a motion to modify will likely occur from the ex-spouse.

Texas law has limited the amount of spousal maintenance: the support cannot exceed $2,500.00 per month or 20% of the ex-spouse’s average monthly gross income. The amount set will be only enough to provide the spouse with their minimal reasonable needs. However, parties can agree to a larger sum.  Again, the details regarding your entitlements to alimony can be found in your divorce degree.

Your ability to collect depends entirely upon the wording of your divorce degree.  If your ex-husband, for example, has agreed to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) for 10 or 20 years and it is stated thusly in your divorce degree, then you may be entitled to recovery of these funds.  Otherwise, it is highly unlikely.

As mentioned previously, it would be prudent to seek the advice of a Houston divorce lawyer – a competent, experienced lawyer can quickly review your divorce degree and provide you with the answers and options you seek.  Furthermore, you will most likely need the services of a lawyer to recover your alimony payments if it is found these payments are rightfully due you.  Before beginning, it is good to know that extracting alimony payments from your ex-husband may be difficult as states usually offer a lot of assistance in collecting child support, and significantly less help collecting past-due alimony.  Reach Lacy Lafour and her team at LaFour Law today and let us help you fight for what’s yours.

Comments are closed.