If you’ve recently gotten divorced in Texas, you may be paying alimony. You’re probably also paying child support. It can be really frustrating if you’re paying this every month and your ex refuses to get a job. Why should you work hard and struggle to pay her if she won’t try to help herself?
When you get divorced, your Houston family law lawyer is going to negotiate things like alimony and child support. For the most part, child support is determined using the Texas child support guidelines. You won’t have a lot to say about how much you pay in child support.
When it comes to alimony, however, it’s mostly based on the two parties’ earning capacity. Whichever spouse earns more will likely have to pay alimony. This alimony could last for years. Yet it’s based on what the parties are making at the time of the divorce.
If you’re tired of paying through the nose knowing that your ex won’t get a job, you need to call a Houston family law lawyer. He can review the situation and see if you qualify to have alimony or child support modified.
Can Child Support Be Modified?
Child support is meant to be used to support your children. That’s pretty obvious. When you get separated or divorced, your attorney will calculate child support based on a few things. Some of the factors that are considered in calculating child support include:
- The income of both parents
- How much time the kids spend with each parent
- Who is paying child care and health insurance
- The age of the children
- the number of children
Let’s say that you make $100,000 a year and your wife makes $20,000 (or nothing.) You have three children, all under the age of 16. You’re paying the kids’ health insurance. The kids are going to be with their mom during the week and stay with you every other weekend.
In this scenario, you’re going to pay a good amount in child support. You make a good living, your spouse doesn’t work and the kids live with their mom most of the time.
The question is, why is it okay for your ex to not work? If all of your children are in school, there’s no reason why your ex shouldn’t have a job. If she did work, her income would go way up. This would make your child support go down.
As unfair as this may seem, the judge has to consider what’s best for your children. They’re not going to let your children starve because your ex-wife chooses not to work. They aren’t going to reduce your child support knowing it can hurt your kids. However, they can order your ex to get a job.
Can Alimony be Reduced if Your Ex Refuses to Get a Job?
Unlike child support, alimony is intended to make sure your ex can maintain a lifestyle similar to what you had when you were married. The court looks at the earning capacity of both spouses. They also look at your work history and education.
At the time you get a divorce, your lawyer will negotiate alimony with your wife’s attorney. If your wife isn’t working at the time, the amount of alimony you’ll have to pay may be quite high.
Your Houston family law lawyer will want to address the issue of employment in your Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA.) He’ll put something in there that calls for a reduction in alimony if one of a few things happen:
- Your wife starts to earn more
- A certain date comes to pass
- Your wife refuses to get a job after that period of time has passed
For example, the MSA may state that alimony is reduced by half on a certain date. Let’s say that date is one year from the final divorce. If that day comes to pass, your lawyer can file a motion have alimony reduced.
Your ex will fight the motion, arguing that she needs that money to survive. Your Houston divorce attorney will let the judge know that she had the option to get a job but chose not to. The court will more than likely put a deadline in place for her to get a job or lose her alimony.
Contact a Houston Family Law Lawyer
If your ex refuses to get a job and you want to modify your child support and alimony, call and speak with a Houston family law lawyer today. You’re going to need to file a motion with the court to get these payments reduced.
Your attorney can help you do this. He can also try to negotiate a reduction with your ex’s lawyer.