People in the League City area who are going through a divorce may be very concerned about their finances. This may especially be true if one spouse earns significantly less than the other or has stayed out of the workforce altogether while married to care for the family. People in Texas may have heard that it is very difficult to be awarded alimony — referred to as spousal maintenance — in the Lone Star state. Is this true?
Am I eligible for spousal maintenance under Texas law?
Under Texas law, specific requirements must be met for a court to award spousal maintenance. First, the spouse seeking maintenance must be able to demonstrate that they are unable to meet their minimum reasonable needs unless they are awarded spousal maintenance. In addition, one of two other factors must be met.
The first factor is that the spouse who will be paying spousal maintenance was convicted of committing an act of family violence during the course of the marriage but no more than two years before the divorce was filed or during the course of the divorce process itself.
Alternatively, the second factor is that the party pursuing spousal maintenance cannot earn enough money to support their reasonable needs because they have a physical or mental disability, because they are caring for the exceptional needs of a disabled child born of the marriage, or because their marriage lasted at least one decade.
Seeking spousal maintenance may be difficult but it is not impossible
As this shows, Texas has high standards for awarding spousal maintenance. Income, domestic violence, disability and the length of the marriage all play a role when courts are deciding whether to award spousal maintenance. If awarded spousal maintenance, how long maintenance will be paid depends on the length of the marriage, whether abuse was an issue and whether disability is an issue.
Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Attorneys in the League City area who practice family law may be a useful resource for those who want more information about spousal maintenance in Texas.