The ex-wife of former-Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has filed a suit accusing him of failing to pay her $6.7 million as part of their 2016 divorce agreement. This includes a million business loan from her trust and millions more in unpaid alimony. When Dewhurst filed for divorce from Tricia Bivins in 2015, their settlement initially stated that Dewhurst would pay the mortgage on the couple’s condo in a luxury residential tower and a few other expensive amenities a membership to a high-end country club and a Range Rover.
While all the circumstances in this case are not yet clear, it poses an opportunity to discuss issues surrounding alimony here in Texas.
Qualifications Bivins needs to receive alimony
For HYPERLINK “https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.8.htm” alimony eligibility in the state of Texas, Bivins would have to demonstrate at least one of the following to qualify for maintenance:
- She could not afford her minimum reasonable needs without the payments.
- Her and Dewhurst’s marriage lasted a decade or longer.
Length of time Bivins could be eligible for alimony
Alimony often equals out to 20% of the paying spouse’s income or $5,000 per month (whichever is the lesser amount), and the length of time alimony payments based on the length of Bivins and Dewhurst’s marriage. Since they were married 12 years (2003-2015), Texas law states that he to give her payments for at least five years, but the couple can negotiate their agreement.
Everyone faces the consequences for not making payments
Depending on the details of Dewhurst’s and Bivins’ divorce agreement, he could be charged with contempt of court and potentially face jail time. Dewhurst is not the first to not to pay alimony, but he is undoubtedly a recent high-profile example.
Those who have an ex not paying maintenance or need to make to the divorce agreement often find it useful to consult with an experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert who works in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, or elsewhere in Texas. These legal professionals can be invaluable in resolving issues of alimony or maintenance as well as other matters in dispute.