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Arlington Divorce, Alimony & Child Custody Information

Arlington residents considering divorce may be a bit overwhelmed, but knowing the basics about Arlington alimony and custody will make the process a bit easier.

Arlington Alimony

Whether you live in Woodland West or Central Meadowbrook or elsewhere in the Arlington area, alimony is also known as spousal maintenance. In Texas divorce law, this regular payment to one spouse is usually awarded when the other spouse has been the chief financial provider in the household.

An Arlington-area court awards alimony if it is "well-founded" and one spouse will have a difficult time receiving the salary they previously received when they return to the workforce. Some factors the courts will look at include:

  • Living conditions during the marriage
  • Low long the marriage lasted
  • The financial situation of each spouse
  • The age and health of each spouse

The spouse receiving alimony can receive the payments for up to three years. (He or she can receive alimony longer if he or she has a mental illness.) The most the judge can make the spouse pay is $2,500 or 20 percent of their income, whichever is less.

Arlington Custody

The court will decide who will get custody of your children if you and your spouse cannot agree. Unless there is a reason that sharing custody would be harmful to the child, the court will usually assign responsibility to both of you. Sometimes the court will give one parent responsibility over a certain part of the child's life. This could include the child's health care or education. The Arlington-area family law court may also consider your child's preferences, depending on his or her age. Each parent's financial abilities will also be considered.

Child Support

In Texas, child support payments are based on the paying parent's finances. The parent can pay anywhere from 20 percent of their net resources, or total amount of income received, to 40 percent of their net resources, depending on how many children they have. The court will consider both parents' incomes, each child's current and future expenses, and the children's ages, among other factors. Income includes salary, any bonuses or tips, and rental and investment income. Keep records of what you spend on your children because the court may recalculate child support if your children's expenses change.