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Alimony or Spousal Support and a Disabled Spouse in Texas

This article addresses questions regarding divorce cases in spring, Texas and Harris and Montgomery Counties in Texas involving alimony or spousal support when there is spouse that is disabled.

Eligibility based on disability

Under Chapter 8 of the Texas a spouse making a claim for alimony or spousal support based on their disability must show:

  1. They are disabled and
  2. They are unable to earn sufficient income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability. Tex. Fam. Code §8.051(2)(A).

What are reasonable needs in a Texas Spousal Support or Alimony Case?

“The term 'minimum reasonable needs' is not defined in the Texas Family Code. Therefore, determining what the 'minimum reasonable needs' are for a particular individual is a fact-specific determination which must be made by the trial court on a case-by-case basis Diaz v. Diaz, 350 S.W.3d 251, 254 (Tex.App.—San Antonio 2011, pet. denied) .

Why is a spouse with a disability important in an alimony or spousal support divorce case?

If your spouse has a disability it can be important in an alimony or spouse support case in Texas. This is because if an ex-spouse is awarded maintenance for suffering from an incapacitating disability under the family code, the court can order spousal maintenance to be paid for as long as the spouse continues to satisfy the eligibility requirements under the applicable provisions.

What sort of evidence is needed to prove an incapacitating physical or mental disability?

A physical disability or incapacity need not be proven by medical evidence, but may be inferred from circumstantial evidence or the competent testimony of lay witnesses. Smith v. Smith, 115 S.W.3d 303, 309 (Tex. App. 2003)

What is the Duration of Spousal Support if the spouse is disabled?

Should an ex-spouse be awarded spousal maintenance there is generally a cap on how long a judge can award spousal maintenance this is not true if the spouse suffers from an incapacitating disability.

If the spouse is disabled the court may render an order for spousal maintenance that continues for as long as the spouse continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria.

Texas Alimony duration when spouse is disabled

Is the length of marriage relevant if the spouse seeking post-divorce alimony or support?

No not under this section of the Texas Family Code.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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