Many people refer to spousal support as alimony; however, in Texas it is called maintenance. The court MAY order maintenance, but it is not a guaranteed. The spouse seeking to receive maintenance must show the court that he or she lacks sufficient property to provide for their minimum needs. In additional to showing the lack of sufficient property, one of the following conditions must also be present:
- The spouse from whom maintenance is requested has been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for family violence during the marriage against the other spouse or the child and the offense occurred within 2 years before the divorce action was filed or while the suit is pending.
- The spouse seeking maintenance is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for minimum reasonable needs because of a physical or mental disability
- The parties have been married to each other for 10 years or longer and the spouse seeking maintenance lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for minimum reasonable needs.
- The spouse seeking maintenance is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income provide for their minimum reasonable needs.
If maintenance is granted then the Court will consider several factors that Court will consider when deciding the natures, amount, and duration of the maintenance payments. Some of the factors that the Court will look at are:
- Each spouse’s ability to provide for that spouse’s minimum reasonable needs independently, considering that spouses financial resources upon dissolution of the marriage;
- The education and employment skills of the spouses, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income and the availability of feasibility of that education and training;
- The length of the marriage;
- The age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse asking to be awarded maintenance;
- The effect on each spouse’s ability to provide for that spouse’s minimum reasonable needs while providing periodic child support payments or maintenance if applicable;
- Acts by either spouse resulting in excessive or abnormal expenditures or destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community property, joint tenancy, or other property held in common;
- The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
- The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
- The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker;
- Martial misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment by either spouse during the marriage;
- History of family violence
Spousal maintenance is a complicated subject in Texas and is not automatic. It is best that you consult an attorney as soon as possible to understand how spousal maintenance works. Whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, it is important that you understand how Spousal Maintenance works in Texas. You should call the Recalde Law firm at 1-855-687-9903 to schedule your consultation today.