Spousal Maintenance and the 10 Year Marriage
Alimony – or spousal maintenance in Texas Law – is rarely awarded in Texas divorces. However, the likelihood of court ordered spousal maintenance increases for couples married at least 10 years. If a requesting spouse is unable to provide for his or her minimal needs due to one of the three following criteria, a court may consider spousal maintenance:
- The requesting spouse is mentally or physically disabled; or
- The requesting spouse must provide substantial care or supervision of a child; or
- The requesting spouse lacks earning capacity in the current labor market.
If the requesting spouse is physically or mentally disabled, a court may award spousal maintenance for life. Otherwise, support can be ordered for a maximum of three years.
Social Security and the 10 Year Marriage
At retirement age, a spouse married for 10 or more years may apply for benefits under the other spouse’s employment record. This process will not affect the ex-spouses benefit nor the benefits a subsequent spouse may receive.
If you are considering divorce and are nearing the 10-year mark, consider consulting with an experienced divorce attorney.