As part of your divorce process, if you are seeking spousal maintenance or alimony in Texas, you have some difficult obstacles to overcome. The court begins its analysis with a presumption that you are not entitled to alimony. You will need to show the court that you have made a good faith effort to develop your skills so you can earn an income sufficient enough to provide for your basic needs but still need help. The court will first determine if you qualify under Texas law and then consider other relevant factors.
Qualifying for Spousal Maintenance or Alimony in Texas
In order to even qualify for consideration, in addition to proving you will not have enough income or property to meet your basic needs, you must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
- You were married for at least 10 years.
- The party from who you are seeking support was convicted of domestic violence.
- You are unable to provide for your basic needs due to a mental or physical disability.
- You have custody of a child from the marriage who needs special care and supervision.
Factors Courts Considers in Determining Whether to Award Spousal Maintenance
Even if you qualify, the court will then consider the following factors in determining how much support you will get and for how long you will get it.
- The length of the marriage.
- The overall financial situation of each spouse.
- Whether either spouse wasted any assets.
- The age, employment history, education, health and skills of each spouse.
- Whether the spouse seeking support contributed to the education and professional development of the other spouse.
- Whether the spouse from whom support is sought engaged in adultery or any cruel treatment of the seeking spouse.
- Any other factor the court deems relevant.