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Will I Receive Spousal Maintenance in My Texas Divorce?

When does a court order spousal maintenance?

A divorce can leave you in a difficult financial position. Splitting apart a household often results in one partner having less income or assets. While awarding alimony used to be the norm, Texas and other states across the nation have taken steps to limit the use of alimony in divorce. Alimony is not awarded automatically, but Texas courts can issue an order for spousal support in certain cases. Our Austin, Texas alimony lawyers at Stinson Moyle, PLLC, discuss your chances of receiving alimony in your Texas divorce below.

Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary spousal support can be issued as an equitable remedy to assist one partner financially while the divorce is pending. When couples divorce, one spouse may lack the resources to afford their monthly expenses. If the other spouse has sufficient resources to pay extra, then the court may order that spouse to pay temporary spousal support.

Spousal Maintenance

Texas courts are allowed to issue awards for spousal maintenance, traditionally referred to as alimony. Spousal maintenance shall be awarded for a brief period of time and for limited circumstances under Texas law. Spousal maintenance may be awarded under the following circumstances:

  • A spouse has a mental or physical disability that impacts their ability to earn a living;
  • A spouse must care for the couple’s child who has a mental or physical disability;
  • The divorcing couple has been married for over 10 years and one spouse is not able to earn a sufficient income to meet his or her reasonable needs;
  • A spouse from which maintenance is being requested was convicted of domestic violence within the past two years.

If the court elects to award alimony, the court will reasonably restrict the period of payments, depending on the exact circumstances surrounding the divorce.

Contractual Alimony

Divorcing spouses have the right to agree to make payments to the other spouse as contractual alimony. Contractual alimony can be used to equalize the division of marital property. If you are contemplating divorce, consult with a Texas alimony lawyer for an individualized assessment as to whether you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance in your divorce.