Free ConsultationsSe Habla Español940-382-1976

Real Representation for Real People

A Law Firm for the Legal Needs in Your Life

When Is Spousal Maintenance Appropriate in a Texas Divorce?

 Posted on October 05,2022 in Divorce

TX divorce lawyerThere are a variety of financial issues that can play a role in a divorce case. When one spouse believes they will be at a financial disadvantage after the end of their marriage, they may ask for ongoing support from the other spouse. In Texas, spousal maintenance (sometimes called "alimony") consists of financial support paid by one spouse to the other spouse after divorce. However, not every divorcing couple will have to deal with spousal support. This form of support will only be appropriate in certain situations, and there are a number of factors that will affect the decisions about whether maintenance should be paid, how long it will last, and the amount that one spouse will pay to the other.

Situations Where Spousal Support May Be Awarded

A family court judge may award spousal support in the following situations:

  • One spouse cannot meet their own financial needs due to a physical or mental disability.
  • A parent who will have primary custody of the couple's child or children needs financial assistance because the child has a disability that requires ongoing care and supervision, and this will affect the custodial parent's ability to work and earn an income.
  • A couple was married for at least 10 years, and one spouse is unable to earn enough income to provide for their own needs. This may be due to a spouse remaining at home during their marriage and focusing on household responsibilities rather than pursuing career opportunities.
  • One spouse has been convicted of an offense involving family violence or received deferred adjudication without a formal conviction. If an offense involving spousal abuse or child abuse was committed during the couple's marriage and within two years prior to when the divorce case was initiated, or if an act of family violence occurred while a divorce case is ongoing, the person who committed the offense may be required to pay spousal maintenance to the other spouse.

In order to determine whether or not spousal maintenance is appropriate in a particular case, the court will consider several factors, including but not limited to:

  • Each party's financial resources and their ability to provide for their own needs, including the marital property apportioned to them in the divorce and the income they earn
  • Each party's education and employment skills, while considering the time necessary for the party seeking maintenance to acquire sufficient education or training to enable him or her to find appropriate employment
  • Each spouse's earning ability based on their age, employment history, and physical and emotional condition
  • The duration of the marriage
  • How the requirement to pay spousal support or child support will affect a person's ability to meet their own needs
  • Any actions taken by either spouse that reduced the value of marital assets, including destruction of property, excessive spending, or attempts to conceal assets
  • Any contributions by one spouse toward the other spouse's education, training, or career
  • Any separate property owned by either spouse prior to getting married
  • A spouse's contributions toward their marriage as a homemaker
  • Any marital misconduct by either spouse, including infidelity or cruel treatment of the other spouse
  • Any history of family violence by either spouse
  • Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be just and right

Contact Our Cooke County Spousal Support Attorneys

Spousal maintenance may or may not be a factor in a particular Texas divorce. Each case is decided on its own merits, and a judge will take into account all relevant factors when making their determination. If you are considering divorce and have questions about spousal maintenance, please contact an experienced Denton County divorce lawyer who can help guide you through this process. At Magaña & Van Dyke, we will advise you on how the law applies in your situation, and we will fight to protect your rights throughout the divorce process. Call 940-382-1976 today to set up a free consultation.


Share this post:
Back to Top