Spousal support consists of payments one spouse makes to the other temporarily to support him/her after their divorce. Spousal support can help the receiving spouse pay for education or training so he/she can return to work, become financially self-sufficient and eventually be able to contribute to their child’s needs. Either spouse can request spousal support, or spousal maintenance as it is called in Texas, at any point during the divorce process.
How to Qualify for Spousal Support
The court will only award maintenance if the requesting spouse does not have enough property at the time of the divorce to take care of his/her basic needs. Additionally, one of the following factors must also be met:
- The couple was married for at least 10 years and the dependent spouse does not have the ability to earn income.
- The dependent spouse cannot earn income or support himself/herself due to a mental disability and/or an incapacitating physical disability.
- The supporting spouse was convicted of an act of violence against the other spouse and/or their children (within 2 years of filing for divorce or while the divorce is pending).
- The dependent spouse has a child who requires substantial care due to a mental or physical ability which precents the parent from working.
Factors for Determining Spousal Support in Texas
The court begins with the presumption that spousal support should not be awarded. However, as a requesting spouse you can show that you have tried to earn income and acquire an education or training to become financially self-sufficient during your separation period. If the court finds this evidence efficient, they will move forward with a spousal support evaluation. The court will refer to the following factors before awarding spousal support:
- Duration of the marriage.
- The property each spouse brought to the marriage.
- Each spouse’s ability to provide for the requesting spouse’s needs.
- Education and employability of each spouse.
- Time necessary to acquire education or training to ensure the requesting spouse can eventually become financially independent.
- Age, employment history, and physical and emotional condition of the requesting spouse.
- Each spouse’s ability to pay child support.
- Whether either spouse wasted or destroyed community property.
- Any marital misconduct (includes adultery)
- Any contributions of one spouse as a homemaker.
- Whether either spouse contributed to the other’s education, training, or increased his/her earning power while married.
How Much Spousal Support Can You Be Awarded in Texas?
Texas limits the amount of spousal support a court can order. An award can not be more than $5,000 per month or more than 20% of the spouse’s average monthly gross income (whichever is less).
Consult with a Reputable Lawyers at Our Firm
If you are considering divorce, you are most likely concerned about how child support and spousal support work in your home state. At Hembree Bell Law Firm, PLLC, we are proud to support our clients through these life transitions and are happy to guide you through the divorce process. Whether you are hoping to be awarded spousal support or feel that spousal support is not fair for your unique situation, contact our office for assistance.
Contact our office online or by calling (512) 768-9737 to schedule a consultation.