Sometimes referred to as alimony or just as maintenance, spousal maintenance is payments legally required from one ex-spouse to another as part of a divorce. Like all states, Texas has unique laws regarding spousal maintenance.
Divorce cases involve unique circumstances that mean there are no one-size-fits-all approaches. However, understanding the rules surrounding spousal maintenance gives you a better idea of whether or not you can receive it.
How do you know if you could get spousal maintenance?
In Texas, you must generally meet one of the following circumstances for spousal maintenance:
- The obligee (the spouse who will receive support) lacks the resources to provide for themselves due to having a disability, being a caretaker of a child with a disability, or otherwise not having earning ability. In these cases, the marriage must have lasted for 10 years or more.
- The obligor (the spouse who pays) received a conviction for violent offenses against the divorcing partner or their children.
- Both individuals agree to payments of spousal maintenance from one to the other as part of the divorce.
While other cases for spousal maintenance can exist, if you are both US citizens and none of the above circumstances apply, you likely do not qualify for spousal maintenance. You should research your specific situation to be sure.
Receiving spousal maintenance
The court will solidify the final decision and details regarding spousal maintenance. The spouse asking for maintenance may need to prove details about their qualifying circumstances as part of the process. Spousal maintenance generally only stays in effect for a set number of years following the divorce.