Spousal support in Texas (also called spousal maintenance) is a tool that is implemented to help balance a divorce-based financial discrepancy between exes. If one spouse experiences an economic downturn and the other has the financial means to help offset it, the court may order spousal support. Every instance of spousal support is based on the circumstances involved. Further, if you have questions or concerns related to spousal support in Texas, the best resource is an experienced Fort Worth spousal support attorney.
The General Guidelines
In order to qualify for spousal support in the first place under Texas law, you must be unable to meet your reasonable minimum needs (in relation to your standard of living prior to divorce). If you are awarded spousal support, its duration will hinge upon a variety of factors, but the basic guidelines include the following:
- Generally, you must have been married at least 10 years for spousal support to apply.
- If your spouse was convicted of (or received deferred adjudication for) a family violence charge within two years of your divorce filing or while your divorce was pending, there is no length-of-marriage requirement, and spousal maintenance can continue for up to five years.
- If your marriage lasted more than 10 years but fewer than 20, your spousal support can remain in effect for up to 5 years.
- If your marriage lasted more than 20 years but fewer than 30, your spousal support can remain in effect for up to 7 years.
- If your marriage lasted for 30 years or more, your spousal support can remain in effect for up to 10 years.
It is important to note that if you are unable to earn an income that is sufficient to provide for your minimum needs due to a mental or physical disability or because you care for a disabled child, the court may not put an end date on the spousal support you receive.
The Factors that Apply
When determining the duration of your spousal support, the court will take all of the following relevant factors into consideration:
- Your ex’s and your own ability to provide for your reasonable needs (including in relation to paying any child support involved)
- You and your ex’s level of education and employment skills
- The amount of time it would likely take you to obtain the training and/or education to become financially independent
- The duration of your marriage
- Your age, employment history, earning capacity, and physical and emotional health
- Whether or not either of you wasted, concealed, destroyed, disappeared, or otherwise disposed of marital assets in relation to your divorce
Turn to an Experienced Fort Worth Spousal Support Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need
The trusted Fort Worth spousal support attorneys at The Law Office of J. Kevin Clark are committed to skillfully advocating for the spousal support to which you are entitled. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 817-DIVORCE today.