When Does Spousal Support Apply?
Not every divorce includes spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony. In fact, Texas is one of the states where it is more difficult to obtain spousal support. If you are wondering what role spousal support may play in your divorce, discuss your situation with our divorce attorney, Caroline McClimon, at McClimon Family Law. Our experienced family law team is here to guide you through every aspect of your divorce. Ms. McClimon has over a decade of experience and understands the factors that can indicate when spousal support might come up in a divorce.
The Factors For Maintenance Eligibility
Texas law requires that the spouse requesting maintenance (receiving spouse) must meet certain eligibility requirements or come to a mutual agreement with the other spouse. The eligibility factors include:
- The receiving spouse cannot support him or herself because of a physical or mental disability.
- The receiving spouse has custody of a child from the marriage who has special needs, which precludes the receiving spouse from gainful employment outside the home.
- The couple was married for at least 10 years and the receiving spouse cannot earn enough to meet their reasonable living expenses, despite attempting to receive training or education.
- The paying spouse has been convicted of, or received a deferred adjudication for, domestic violence against their spouse or child within two years of the divorce filing or during the divorce case.
The amount of the payments is limited under Texas law to $5,000 per month or 20% of the paying spouse’s gross monthly income, whichever is lower. The amount of time the support payments last can fluctuate based on circumstances, as well. The court must use the shortest time frame possible for the receiving spouse to change their circumstances and become self-sufficient.
In some cases, the court may not award spousal support but may compensate one spouse with a higher share of the marital property division instead. Property division in Texas is not necessarily a 50/50 split. Rather, the judge should award the property in a “just and right” manner. Spousal maintenance is not a simple matter. Whether you are seeking support or fighting against paying it, you need a skilled lawyer like Caroline McClimon to help you present your case.
Contact Us Today
If you wish to discuss your situation and learn more about what to expect during your divorce, contact us to schedule an appointment. You can call our office in Smithville at 888-712-4804 or fill out our online contact form.