When couples call it quits, judges often rule that one spouse must support the other. The legal term for these court-ordered payments is spousal maintenance.
As time moves forward, there may be rationales that justify altering the amount. There are guidelines in Texas around how adjustments to these agreements remain allowable.
Requirements when petitioning to change spousal maintenance in Texas
When a reduction in spousal maintenance bears justification, one may file a petition. Only the court responsible for the original ruling can allow such a change.
Persons receiving spousal maintenance must receive a notification. Delivery of this information must conform to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. It should also be in line with the service of citation guidelines established by The Lone Star State. The recipient faces a duty to respond. The deadline for an answer is 10:00 AM on the first Monday after 20 days from the petition delivery.
Limitations on modifying spousal maintenance in Texas
A hearing before a judge comes next. Any agreed-upon readjustment will only apply to payments postdating the official modification request. The person filing the modification request must provide proof of current circumstances. These may include terminal sickness, loss of employment or sudden physical disability. The spouse receiving monies cannot file a countermotion requesting an increase.
Paying an ex can become an unfair burden when situations change. The good news is there are more than a few strategies for surviving the economic fallout of a split. One of the savviest tactics is requesting lower spousal maintenance.