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Could Ric Flair Be Held in Contempt in Texas for Failure to Pay Spousal Maintenance?

As reported by Fox News, on July 17, 2013 an arrest warrant was issued for Ric Flair for his failure to pay $32,000.00 in spousal support to his estranged wife. Mr. and Mrs. Flair reside in North Carolina. Ric Flair was ordered in earlier divorce proceedings to pay his Wife $4,000.00 per month and had failed to do so to the tune of $32,352.51. Mr. Flair explained that he was unable to make the spousal maintenance payments because he had spent a month in the hospital for a blood clot, did not work for three months and his son died.

If Ric Flair and his wife lived in Texas, he could face jail time for his failure to make court ordered spousal support payments. If a Court orders a person to pay spousal maintenance, a person can be held in contempt of Court and face jail time for the failure to pay court ordered spousal maintenance within the duration and amounts found in the Texas Family Code.

If a Court finds that a spouse is entitled to receive spousal maintenance, the Court can order the duration of spousal support payments as follows:

  • Marriage 10-20 Year Duration: Maximum 5 years spousal maintenance
  • Marriage 20-30 Year Duration: Maximum 7 years spousal maintenance
  • Marriage Exceeding 30 Years: Maximum 10 year spousal maintenance

The limit on the amount of monthly spousal maintenance in Texas is 20% of a person’s monthly gross income or $5,000.00, whichever is less.

If Mr. Flair was truly unable to make his spousal maintenance payments because of the factors stated above, in Texas Mr. Flair should have petitioned the Court to modify the amount and duration of his spousal support payments instead of just not making the payments. In this case, it would have been better for him to ask permission than to ask for forgiveness.