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Austin TX Family Law Blog

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bethenny Frankel Will No Longer Have to Pay Ex $12,000 Per Month in Spousal Support

When is spousal support awarded in Texas?

TV personality Bethenny Frankel recently won a significant victory in court when a judge ruled her spousal support obligation to estranged husband Jason Hoppy has ended.  Frankel had been paying her soon to be ex-husband $12,000 a month in temporary maintenance pending finalization of the divorce.  Frankel publically stated she was “pleased” to have the obligation end.

Frankel and Hoppy are embattled in a dispute over the correct interpretation of their prenuptial agreement and a trust agreement involving the couple’s apartment, estimated to be valued at $7 million.  In the prenup, Frankel and her legal team urged that Hoppy waived any right to spousal support or alimony.  While Hoppy disputed this assertion, the judge ultimately sided with Frankel. 

Spousal Maintenance in Texas

Spousal maintenance is a limited form of spousal support that can be awarded under Texas law in certain situations.  This form of maintenance is typically ordered for a limited amount of time post-divorce or while the divorce is pending.  Spousal maintenance may be available under the following circumstances:

  • The couple has been married for over ten years, and one spouse is unable to earn a sufficient income to meet his or her reasonable needs; or
  • A spouse cares for the couple’s child who has a physical or mental disability; or
  • A spouse has a physical or mental disability that impacts their ability to earn an income; or
  • A spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted of a family violence within the past two years before the divorce proceeding. 

Texas law limits the monthly amount of maintenance in accordance with the paying spouse’s salary.  Its duration will depend on several factors, including the length of the marriage and the reason for the award of maintenance.  For more information about spousal maintenance or assistance with your divorce proceeding, contact the Texas board-certified family law attorneys at Stinson Moyle, PPLC by calling (512) 320-9070 today. 


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