Alimony Attorney Explains Different Types of Spousal Support
Houston Divorce Lawyer on Texas Maintenance
When you speak with an alimony attorney in Houston, he or she will explain the types of alimony available to you. Texas law greatly favors the receipt of rehabilitative spousal support, which is subject to statutory limitations as to amount and duration. Courts may order temporary alimony while the divorce is pending. In very limited circumstances, a court may award a spouse permanent or other types of maintenance at the conclusion of the divorce.
Texas court ordered maintenance is often a topic of discussion in many Houston divorces. The subject rears its head in questions such as
- Will I have to pay alimony?
- Can I receive alimony?
- Does Texas have alimony?
Texas has a limited form of alimony in divorce, called court ordered maintenance. This maintenance is sometimes referred to as rehabilitative alimony, divorce maintenance, marital support, or spousal support. Receiving maintenance is dependent on many factors and meeting certain requirements. Spousal support in Texas divorce is rehabilitative. That means it provides a spouse a temporary measure to get back on his or her feet.
Texas Court Ordered Maintenance Requirements
A spouse does not automatically receive divorce maintenance. Texas Family Code defines certain prerequisites that must be met by the spouse requesting maintenance. To be eligible for spousal maintenance in Texas:
- The spouse seeking maintenance must lack sufficient property to provide for his/her minimum reasonable needs. Sufficient property includes both the spouse’s separate property and his/her share of community property following the divorce.
- The parties have been married to each other for 10 years or more where the party seeking support is unable earn sufficient income to provide for his/her minimum reasonable needs.
Texas Family Code pertaining to divorce does not exactly define minimum reasonable needs. There are also explicit provisions in the Code for spouses who are victims of domestic violence or for the custodial parent of a disabled/special needs child requiring substantial care and personal supervision.
How Long Does Rehabilitative Maintenance Last?
Rehabilitative maintenance is further subject to statutory limits of duration. Generally, Texas law allows rehabilitative maintenance to only last a maximum of 5 years if the marriage lasted 10 to 20 years; 7 years if the marriage lasted 20 to 30 years; and 10 years if the marriage lasted over 30 years.
In all cases, no maintenance award will be more than $5,000 per month or 20% of the payor spouse’s gross income, whichever is less.
Finally, in all cases the court must award only the minimum amount and duration of maintenance necessary for spouses to earn sufficient income to meet their reasonable needs.
Need Help with Spousal Support or Alimony Enforcement?
If you need assistance with spousal support in divorce or alimony enforcement, then we can help. Attorney John K. Grubb has been assisting spouses and ex-spouses in Houston for over 30 years. Reach out to our spousal support attorney by calling directly or submitting our online contact form.