For years, Texas law was incredibly restrictive when it came to spousal support after marriage. Recently, however, the Texas legislature has made strides to provide a means for divorce courts to award spousal support in situations where one spouse will not be able to properly provide for themselves after the marriage ends.
Texas law provides that a divorce court may order spousal maintenance/support after a divorce only if the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property, including the spouse's separate property, on dissolution of the marriage to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs.
The Texas Family Code provides the following factors that courts must consider when determining whether to order spousal maintenance following a divorce.
(1) each spouse's ability to provide for that spouse's minimum reasonable needs independently, considering that spouse's financial resources on dissolution of the marriage;
(2) the education and employment skills of the spouses, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income, and the availability and feasibility of that education or training;
(3) the duration of the marriage;
(4) the age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
(5) the effect on each spouse's ability to provide for that spouse's minimum reasonable needs while providing periodic child support payments or maintenance, if applicable;
(6) acts by either spouse resulting in excessive or abnormal expenditures or destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community property, joint tenancy, or other property held in common;
(7) the contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
(8) the property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
(9) the contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
(10) marital misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment, by either spouse during the marriage; and
(11) any history or pattern of family violence, as defined by Section 71.004.
Every case is unique. That is why discussing your case with a divorce attorney is important. Do not assume you do or do not qualify for spousal support. And do not assume you will or will not be obligated to pay spousal support. By meeting with a qualified attorney, you can take the guess work out of this part of the process.
Call 956-501-6565 for a free consultation.