What You Need To Know About Spousal Support

Many think spousal support payments are ordered automatically after a divorce, but this is not the case under Texas law. In order to qualify for spousal support, known legally as spousal maintenance, the petitioning spouse must be able to demonstrate that they don’t have enough savings or ongoing income to properly support themselves. If there has been domestic violence against children or the petitioning spouse, support payments can be ordered provided the abuse happened during the marriage and within two years of the divorce proceedings, and if the petitioning spouse has a mental or physical disability that prevents them from working or a dependent child with a disability that requires full-time care, support can be ordered for the spouse as well as the child.

In Texas, courts presume that spousal support is not needed. Overcoming this presumption requires a demonstration that the petitioning spouse has made a good faith effort to find gainful employment or to develop skills so that employment can be secured. If the divorcing couple has been married for ten years or more, an order for spousal support is more likely to occur, particularly if the petitioning spouse has not been part of the work force during the course of the marriage. Courts will also look at the financial resources that each spouse brought into the marriage, the contributions of each during the marriage, and their individual earning potentials after the marriage has dissolved.

Laws regarding spousal support can be confusing, which is why having an experienced family law attorney on your side is beneficial. A lawyer with experience in divorce, conservatorship, and spousal maintenance cases will be better able to help you understand the process, advise you on getting your paperwork together, and bring you closer to the results you want and need. Divorce can be stressful, heartbreaking, and nerve wracking, but with a strong advocate on your side, the whole process can be a bit easier. If you need assistance with a spousal support case, contact Espronceda Law today.


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