Spousal Maintenance In a Texas Divorce
The words alimony, spousal support, and maintenance all mean the same thing in a Texas divorce. In order to help a spouse which has lower earning potential such as a spouse has been out of the workforce entirely while raising children or taking care of household, some courts will grant a motion to require the other spouse to pay some form of financial support after a divorce.
In a Texas divorce spouses may agree to spousal maintenance or the court may order it. In Texas this is called spousal maintenance. A court may order spousal maintenance if the spouse seeking support will not have enough property or assets at the time the divorce to provide for the basic needs of the other spouse.
In order to qualify for spousal maintenance in Texas certain circumstances must exist. (1) one of the spouses must be convicted of committing family violence against the spouse or spouses child within the last two years, (2) spouse looking for support is unable to earn enough income to provide for the basic needs because of a physical or mental impairment, (3) the couple was married for longer than 10 years in the spouse seeking support is unable to earn enough income to provide his or her basic needs, or (4) spouse seeking support maintains custody of a child requires special care and supervision because of a mental or physical disability.
In Texas, except for there is a conviction of family violence, it is presumed that in order for spousal maintenance is not appropriate. To nullify this presumption, the spouse seeking support must convince the court that he or she has made a good effort to earn income or to develop skills capable of providing for the basic needs during separation and divorce.
In order to determine the amount of spousal maintenance that is appropriate the judge will consider several factors. These factors include the spouse's financial resources at the time of divorce, their education and employment skills, the length of the marriage, the age, employment, history, and earning ability of the spouse, the physical and emotional health of each spouse, whether either spouses paying child support, whether there is community property involved, whether the spouse seeking support contributed to the education or training for the increased earning ability of the other spouse, and more.
If the spouse requiring spousal maintenance is unable to support themselves through appropriate employment because they have been incapacitating physical or mental impairment, were they or the custodian of a child with disability court may order alimony for as long as the disability continues. Otherwise, a court may not order, me lasting for more than three years after the date of the order to limit the duration of the shortest reasonable. That allows the spouse seeking maintenance to meet his or her reasonable needs by obtaining employment are developing skills necessary to provide for themselves.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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