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Spousal Maintenance in a Texas Divorce: Court-Ordered Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as spousal support, remains a top concern for many potential clients at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. After our previous post covering contractual spousal maintenance, we now turn our attention to court-ordered spousal maintenance, along with valuable advice on navigating maintenance requests.

Court-Ordered Spousal Maintenance: The Essentials

Judges can mandate spousal maintenance when deemed necessary and the recipient meets the eligibility criteria. This court-ordered spousal maintenance is binding, obligating you to comply, regardless of personal agreement or disagreement.

You should temper your worries about payment amounts and duration, as court-ordered spousal maintenance doesn’t always result in substantial payments or extended periods.

Eligibility Criteria for Court-Ordered Spousal Maintenance

To qualify for court-ordered spousal maintenance in Texas, a spouse must demonstrate an inability to meet basic needs post-asset division. This doesn’t equate to maintaining one’s accustomed lifestyle but rather securing shelter and sustenance.

Meeting these requirements can pose a challenge, given that most divorces result in both spouses leaving with adequate resources to cover their basic necessities.

Furthermore, specific conditions must be met, such as disability, a child’s disability, a history of family violence, or a marriage spanning at least a decade.

If you intend to request spousal maintenance, consider pursuing employment before initiating divorce proceedings, as courts may deny such requests if you haven’t actively sought income.

Determining the Amount and Duration of Spousal Maintenance

Judges confront two pivotal questions: the monthly amount and the duration of spousal maintenance. In general, the maximum sum a judge may order corresponds to the difference between your monthly expenses and income, aimed at meeting essential needs rather than facilitating an extravagant lifestyle.

A judge also assesses both spouses’ post-divorce earning potential and their capacity to cover expenses. Factors encompass age, education, work history, and prospects for further training.

For instance, a stay-at-home mother with a college degree and previous executive experience may encounter more hurdles securing spousal support than someone with only a high school diploma and no employment background.

Moreover, courts occasionally weigh uncommon factors, like the dissipation of community assets or the diversion of community income for extramarital affairs, when determining spousal maintenance awards.

Stay tuned for the final installment of our spousal maintenance series, which delves into the duration and amount of spousal maintenance awards. Should you have inquiries regarding spousal support or family law matters, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our team offers complimentary consultations six days a week to assist you.

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