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How long must spousal support be paid after a Texas divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2020 | Family Law |

Among the many issues that come up for dispute in a Texas divorce, spousal support (also referred to as maintenance) is one of the most contentious. People might bristle at the thought of paying for a former husband or wife’s upkeep long after the marriage has ended and it can result in rampant disagreement. The receiving former spouse often thinks more should be paid for a longer duration. Given these concerns, it is important to remember there are laws that dictate spousal support and they must be adhered to. For this or any other family law issue, it may be helpful to have legal advice from the outset.

The duration of spousal maintenance after a divorce

People frequently wonder about the amount that must be paid, but another concern is the duration for which they are ordered to pay it. Understanding the law for the duration of a maintenance order is important when getting a divorce. The length of time for which the couple was married is a fundamental factor in the duration of maintenance.

It will be for five years if the couple was married for fewer than 10 years or at least 10 years and fewer than 20 years in the following circumstances: the supported former spouse is physically or mentally disabled and incapacitated so they cannot self-support; after a 10-year marriage the receiving spouse cannot earn enough to meet the basic needs; or there is a child from the marriage who needs specialized attention due to a mental or physical disability. The maintenance will be paid for seven years if they were married for at least 20 years, but fewer than 30. It will be for 10 years if they were married for 30 years or longer.

Legal advice can help with spousal support and other issues

Divorce can be emotionally, personally and financially challenging. Among the many aspects of a case that come to the forefront, spousal support can be especially acrimonious. Many people face problems because they are unfamiliar with the laws dictating spousal support such as how long it will last. Regardless of whether it is from the perspective of the paying former spouse or the receiving former spouse, having legal assistance may be essential to a fair award. Consulting with a qualified family law professional might be key.