In Texas, spousal support is not automatically granted during a divorce. Perhaps more commonly known as “alimony,” spousal support or spousal maintenance is only granted under certain circumstances. In fact, Texas family courts operate under the assumption that a spouse is not entitled to spousal support. Instead, the seeking spouse must demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements to receive spousal maintenance. The court will then take into consideration any additional relevant factors before deciding.
If you are considering a divorce or your spouse has served you divorce papers, you likely have many questions and concerns, including financial worries. How is your life going to change? Will you still be able to maintain the same standard of living you have always had? Will you be ordered to pay your spouse simply because you make more money? Do you even meet the state’s spousal maintenance requirements? No matter your situation, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced Texas spousal maintenance attorney. At Walters Gilbreath, PLLC, we can help you understand your options based on your unique situation.
To schedule a consultation with our team, call us at (844) 451-1220 or fill out an online contact form today.
Who Qualifies for Spousal Support in Texas?
Many people assume that the higher-earning spouse will automatically be responsible for making spousal support payments during and after a divorce. However, this is not always the case. In fact, Texas Family Code has strict requirements regarding who is eligible to receive spousal support, and those seeking support will likely have to overcome a number of legal obstacles. In many cases, an individual may seek spousal support and ultimately not receive it.
In order to qualify for spousal support in Texas, the seeking spouse will have to show that he or she made reasonable efforts to secure adequate income, but that she or he still needs financial assistance to meet his or her basic needs.
Additionally, the seeking spouse must prove that he or she meets at least one of the following requirements:
- The marriage lasted 10 years or more and the seeking spouse does not have enough income to meet his or her basic needs (within reason)
- The non-seeking spouse or party has been convicted of domestic violence
- The seeking spouse has an incapacitating disability (physical or mental) that prevents him/her from earning sufficient income
- The seeking spouse is the custodian of a special needs child whose disability/care prevents the seeking spouse from earning sufficient income
In other words, it is not enough that your spouse makes more money than you do (or vice versa). You will have to prove that you meet the qualifications for spousal support and, should you meet the requirements, the amount awarded will depend on the various circumstances involved. Additionally, it is important to note that, in most cases, spousal support orders typically only last for three years or less. They are almost never indefinite, and usually cease when the receiving spouse gets remarried or starts living with someone on a permanent basis.
Discuss Your Situation with Our Team
Because the laws surrounding spousal support in Texas are very complex and strict, it can be incredibly difficult to navigate this particular aspect of divorce. At Walters Gilbreath, PLLC, we understand that spousal maintenance issues can also quickly turn contentious. Even if you and your spouse have been able to agree on everything up until this point, the issue of spousal support can turn into a fierce battle.
Our team is committed to helping you throughout the process. We are here to serve as both your guide and your advocate, providing you with the information you need about your rights and options while also working to defend those rights whenever necessary. Whether you wish to seek spousal support or you have been ordered to pay an amount you believe to be unfair, our Texas attorneys can help.