The Key Factors Related to Spousal Maintenance in Texas
Though not as common as it used to be, alimony is still available in a Texas divorce and may be granted at the discretion of the judge. Either party to a Texas divorce may petition the court for some type of maintenance, but the court typically orders the payment of support only if the requesting spouse (payee) lacks sufficient assets at the time of the divorce to meet basic needs and one of the following conditions applies:
- the payee has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from earning the necessary income to be self-sufficient;
- the requesting spouse has custody of a minor child who requires substantial care or supervision, making it impossible for the custodial parent to work;
- the party from whom the maintenance is sought has been convicted of abuse or domestic violence against the spouse or a child within the 24-month period immediately preceding the filing of the divorce complaint; or
- the parties have been married at least 10 years, and the payee lacks the skills or ability to earn enough income to meet basic needs.
What the Court Will Consider When Evaluating a Maintenance Request
The criteria the court evaluates when making an alimony/maintenance decision include:
- the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including the community and separate property and liabilities apportioned to that spouse in the dissolution proceeding, and that spouse’s ability to meet their own needs independently;
- the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is requested to meet their own personal needs;
- the financial resources of the spouses;
- the length of the marriage;
- the age, employment history, earning ability, and health condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- the dissipation of any marital assets;
- the education and job skills of the spouses;
- the contribution by one spouse to the education or earning capacity of the other;
- any pre-marital property;
- the contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
- any marital misconduct of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
- the efforts of the spouse seeking maintenance to pursue available employment counseling as provided by Chapter 304 of the Texas Labor Code.
Contact the Divorce and Family Law Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas divorce and family law attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.