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Protect alimony payments with well-drafted divorce agreement

There are several circumstances in which divorcing spouses in Texas may negotiate payment agreements to be effective after their divorce. These may include spousal support, child support and payments related to marital property. The receiving spouse may want to ensure he or she is protected against non-payment of agreed-upon amounts after the divorce.

One scenario that may require inclusion in the divorce agreement is a marital asset that cannot be divided. If one one party wants to maintain ownership of a certain asset, he or she will often have to pay the other party half of the value of the asset. It is not uncommon for that person not to have the necessary funds available to make such a payment, and the other party may agree to accept the money to be paid in installments. Verbal agreements are never advisable in these circumstances, and the receiving party may want to ensure that a legally binding agreement is in place.

Protections against non-payment can be included in a divorce agreement. Payments can be secured by liens against real estate belonging to the paying party. Judgments to be issued in the event of arrearages can also be included in the divorce agreement, and stating that unpaid amounts will be enforced by contempt may also offer some protection. Furthermore, a stipulation might be included to state that legal fees for enforcement will be the responsibility of the paying party.

The event of the paying party's death can also be covered by a provision to ensure life insurance is kept current. Problems may arise if the paying party files for bankruptcy, and, although child and spousal support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, property payments may be discharged. When drafting a divorce agreement with the guidance of an experienced Texas divorce attorney, it may be wise to include a provision that the property payments will not be discharged in the event of a bankruptcy filing.

Source:, "How to Protect Your Alimony", Rebecca Zung, Nov. 9, 2015

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Vernier & Associates, PLLC Vernier & Associates, PLLC

Vernier & Associates, PLLC
2441 High Timbers Drive Suite 110
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Phone: 281-882-3271
Fax: 832-585-0955

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