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What does Texas consider when awarding spousal support?

If you live in Texas and your marriage is nearing its end, you may have concerns about how you are going to provide for yourself once your divorce finalizes. Maybe you have been out of the workforce for quite some time so that you could raise a family, or perhaps you sacrificed your own career growth so that your spouse could pursue his or her professional dreams. Regardless, you may have questions about whether you will be eligible for spousal support or maintenance, and if so, for how long.

According to the Texas State Legislature, you may, depending on certain circumstances, be able to obtain temporary spousal support while your divorce proceedings are ongoing. You may also be able to obtain spousal maintenance after the divorce, but your situation must first meet certain criteria. To start, you have to demonstrate your inability to be able to support yourself financially on your own. Next, you must demonstrate that your situation meets one of two circumstances.

In the first scenario, you might be able to obtain spousal maintenance if your spouse receives a conviction or deferred adjudication relating to family violence within a certain time period. In the second set of circumstances, you may be able to secure spousal maintenance if you are unable to support yourself because of an incapacity, because you are responsible for an incapacitated child, or because your marriage lasted in excess of 10 years. As for how much you might receive, should you meet eligibility requirements, know that Texas courts generally award the lesser of either $5,000 per month or 20 percent of the paying spouse’s average gross monthly income.

Every family law situation is different. While this information about Texas spousal support is informational in nature, it is not a substitute for legal advice.