Spousal Maintenance

In Texas, a Court can order spousal maintenance if either one of the following two circumstances exist:

A spouse has been convicted of a crime or received deferred adjudication for a crime that can also be considered an act of family violence and this has occurred within two years of the filing of the suit or while the divorce is pending; OR the parties have been married at least 10 years and the financial resources (including any property received by the requesting party in the divorce) of the requesting spouse are limited. In this situation, the spouse asking for maintenance must also be able to prove one of the following:

a. They are unable to support themselves because of a physical or mental disability;

b. They have custody of a child of the marriage of any age with a physical or mental disability who requires substantial and continuous care and this prevents the parent from earning enough income to provide his or her minimum reasonable needs; or

c. They lack the ability to earn a living which would meet their minimum reasonable needs.

The Court may also limit the number of years a party can receive spousal maintenance. Generally, the Court can order a payment period not to exceed five years if the couple was married between 10 and 20 years, or not to exceed seven years if the parties were married between 20 and 30 years, or not to exceed 10 years for a marriage longer than 30 years. Please note, that if the party receiving spousal maintenance cannot support themselves in that time period due to a physical or mental disability or the party’s duties as the custodian of an infant or young child of the marriage, or any other compelling reason for why the spouse can’t earn sufficient income to provide their minimum reasonable needs

© 2006 Shirley A. Mitchell P.C. Attorney At Law, All Rights Reserved