Texas has a statutory provision that allows one spouse to receive payments from the other after a divorce. In some states, these payments are called alimony. In Texas, however, they are called Spousal Maintenance. Spousal maintenance is not favored in Houston, TX. For your spouse to receive spousal maintenance several factors must be proven.
Who Is Eligible to Receive Spousal Support in Texas?
Your spouse can receive spousal maintenance if the spouse cannot provide for their own minimum needs. If your spouse can show that they cannot meet their minimum needs with the resources they have, the Court will consider awarding spousal maintenance.
In order to receive spousal maintenance, your spouse will also have to show that either you have been convicted of a family violence offense, or that your spouse is physically or mentally incapacitated, or you all have been married 10 years and your spouse is incapable of earning a sufficient income, or, your spouse cares for a disabled child and as a result, is unable to earn a sufficient income.
The Court’s determination is not over, however, upon the answering of these questions. The Court will then determine what maintenance is due.
What Factors Does the Texas Family Court Consider During Spousal Support Hearings?
The Court will take numerous factors into account when determining if maintenance is owed.
Those factors may include, but are not limited to:
- Each spouse’s ability to earn income
- The educational levels of the spouses, including whether one spouse assisted in putting the other through school
- How long the marriage lasted
- The physical and mental conditions of the spouses
- Whether one spouse fraudulently disposed of marital assets or whether one spouse engaged in abnormal expenditures of the community assets
The court will also presume that spousal maintenance is not warranted unless the opposing spouse has attempted to earn sufficient income or undergone some training or education in order to do so.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Houston, TX?
The duration of the spousal maintenance order is limited by law, and cannot be for more than 10 years, depending on how long the marriage lasted. Of course, there are exceptions to this limitation based on certain compelling needs.
The defense against a request for spousal maintenance requires both factual and legal arguments. You will need to prove your spouse is not entitled to maintenance and that your spouse can meet their minimum needs. You will also want to argue that your spouse has not taken those steps necessary in order to earn a sufficient income.
The Court does limit spousal support, however, to $5,000 per month, but, again, there are some exceptions and clarifications to the general limitation.
Contact Our Experienced Spousal Support Attorneys in Houston, TX for Help Today
Stepp & Sullivan can assist you in navigating the factual and legal requirements of Houston, TX Spousal Support. The lawyers at Stepp and Sullivan are here to help you with any family legal issues you have. At Stepp & Sullivan, we make it personal. Powerful.