If you are considering divorce, you may have concerns about your financial future. You may be wondering if you will be able to make ends meet and still maintain your current lifestyle. At Law Office of Brian Bagley, we can set your mind at ease and help you determine if you qualify for spousal maintenance.
In Texas, spousal support and spousal maintenance are different. Spousal support is a voluntary agreement between both parties to financially support the other spouse on agreed-upon terms during the divorce. Spousal maintenance, on the other hand, is ordered by the court. Under state law, the court cannot order a spouse—the “obligor”—to pay more than 20 percent of their gross monthly salary up to a maximum of $5,000.
Spousal Maintenance Eligibility
In Texas, divorced spouses do not automatically get spousal maintenance, it is awarded in very limited circumstances. Typically, spousal maintenance may be granted if the divorce would leave a spouse without sufficient funds to meet basic needs and at least one of the following is true:
- Your spouse committed domestic violence against you or a child of your marriage within two years of filing for divorce or while the divorce is pending.
- You have a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult for you to earn income.
- The marriage lasted at least ten years and you lack the education or experience to earn sufficient income.
- You have custody of a child with a disability which prevents you from making enough money.
If you have a good relationship with your soon-to-be ex, you may be able to reach a spousal support agreement even if you do not meet these criteria.
Duration of Spousal Maintenance
If spousal maintenance is granted, the length of time you can receive the support after the date of the court order is based on the amount of time you were married in the following manner:
- Not more than five years, if you were married for less than ten years.
- Not more than five years, if you were married at least ten years but not more than 20 years.
- Seven years, if you were married for at least 20 years but not more than 30 years.
- Ten years, if you were married for 30 years or more.
A maintenance order can also be modified after the divorce. The order would end if either spouse dies or if the spouse receiving spousal maintenance begins cohabitating with a new partner or remarries.
Contact a Texas Divorce Lawyer
Are you seeking spousal maintenance in your divorce settlement? At Law Office of Brian Bagley, an experienced Plano divorce attorney can help you determine if spousal support is likely in your divorce and also ensure that you are treated fairly if you are the paying spouse. Call (972) 843-7158 for a free consultation. We can help you develop detailed and innovative plans to secure your financial future.