James Van Der Beek, an actor who is known for his role on the 1990's television series Dawson's Creek, has recently hit the media spotlight with his divorce to actress Heather Ann McComb. AHN reports that Mr. Van Der Beek will officially be a single man on June 3, when his divorce is finalized.
But with his divorce, a Los Angeles judge ordered the man to pay $7,750 a month in alimony to his soon-to-be ex-wife. This may seem like a lot of money, but let's not forget that the man reportedly earns around $50,000 each month.
If the couple were living in Texas, Mr. Van Der Beek would probably not have to pay alimony (known as spousal maintenance in Texas) to Ms. McComb. In order to be eligible for spousal maintenance in Texas, the marriage must usually last at least 10 years in duration. However, if the spouse filing for maintenance was proven to be a victim of spousal abuse within the past two years, then he or she could be eligible for maintenance as well. If the spouse filing for maintenance clearly lacks the ability to earn money, perhaps through a mental disability, then or she may also be eligible. Even with a skilled Houston Family law attorney, the maximum amount of money a person can receive through spousal maintenance is $2,500 a month, or 20 percent of the ex-spouse's average monthly gross income.
Mr. Van Der Beek and Ms. McComb married in July 2003, so they haven't quite reached the 10 year marriage mark. Unlike California courts, Texas judges don't award spousal maintenance all that often. It takes pretty extreme circumstances to determine that a person is in need of such monthly payments.