Alimony or spousal support refers to financial support paid by someone to their spouse during and/or after a divorce. Parents are required to pay child support even if they separate or divorce. Texas judges consider numerous factors when deciding whether to grant spousal support and the amount of alimony payments. Child support payments are based on the Texas child support guidelines, but judges can deviate from the guidelines. Infidelity could impact child support obligations and/or alimony awards in some cases. Our Austin divorce attorney discusses how an affair impacts alimony or child support in a Texas divorce case.
How Does an Affair Impact Child Support Payments in Texas?
Child support is based on a percentage of your net income. The court deducts income taxes, FICA taxes, union dues, non-discretionary retirement plan contributions, insurance premiums for the child, and uncovered medical expenses from your gross income. Yearly net income is divided by 12 to calculate the monthly income available for child support.
If your net income is below $9,200, you pay a percentage of your net income based on the number of children being supported. For example, you pay 20% of net income for one child. The amount increases to 25% of net income for two children and up to 40% of net income for six or more children.
The guidelines provide a presumed amount of child support. The court can adjust child support payments for many reasons. If an affair resulted in a change in financial circumstances for either parent, the court could consider this factor when determining whether to deviate from the child support guidelines.
How Does an Affair Impact Alimony in Texas?
Alimony is not guaranteed in a Texas divorce action. The court must find a need for monetary support and the ability to pay financial support. Texas law requires that a spouse meets specific requirements to receive alimony:
- The marriage must have lasted for a minimum of ten years;
- You are unable to pay for your reasonable needs after the divorce; OR,
- You have custody of a child of any age that requires substantial personal supervision or care because of a mental or physical disability that prevents you from working outside of the home.
Judges consider many factors when determining how much a spouse must pay in spousal maintenance, including whether a spouse had an affair. Having an affair does not automatically result in alimony. However, if a spouse spends a substantial amount of the marital funds on an affair, the court could consider this factor when determining the amount of alimony to award.
Proving adultery can be challenging. You would also need to prove that the affair had a financial impact for the judge to consider infidelity as a factor in granting alimony. Each situation is unique, so it is best to seek legal advice from an experienced divorce lawyer.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Austin Divorce Attorney
Alimony is a challenging issue in divorce cases. Our Austin divorce attorney at the Law Office of Ben Carrasco helps clients fight for a fair alimony settlement. Call our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation with an alimony attorney in Austin, TX.