When you and your spouse decide to end your marriage, you may have felt overwhelmed as to how will soon need to support yourself on your own. You may have spent the last several years as a stay-at-home spouse, out of the workforce while raising your young children. The idea of navigating a divorce and then getting back into the workforce to support yourself on your own may seem daunting.
Do I qualify in Texas?
You likely have wondered if you will qualify for spousal support, or spousal maintenance, and how spousal maintenance works in Texas. Just as in most states, a spouse will need to meet certain criteria to qualify for spousal maintenance. The criteria in Texas is the following:
- The spouse whom maintenance is requested from was convicted of a domestic violence offense or received a deferred domestic violence sentence during the marriage or within two years before the divorce filing
- The spouse requesting spousal maintenance doesn’t have the assets or property to meet their minimum needs on their own.
- The spouse requesting spousal maintenance has a physical or intellectual disability that hinders their ability to fully provide from themselves.
- The couple has been married 10 years or longer and one spouse lacks sufficient income to provide for their minimum needs.
- One spouse has custody for a special needs child of the couple, preventing the custodial spouse from being able to provide for their own reasonable needs.
How much spousal maintenance will I receive? For how long?
In Texas, spousal maintenance will amount to 20% of your ex’s monthly income or $5,000 a month, whichever amount is less. How long you receive this spousal maintenance in Texas will vary on a number of factors, including how many years you were married. For example:
- For marriages that last less than 10 years, you could receive spousal support for up to five years.
- For marriages that lasted 20-30 years, you could receive payments from your spouse for up to seven years.
- For marriages that lasted more than 30 years, you could receive spousal maintenance for up to 10 years.
If you feel you may need spousal maintenance to pay for your basic needs, you should consult an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you gather the information you’ll need to show the court why you might need spousal maintenance after your divorce.