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How can I make sure I have a fair spousal support order in Texas?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2022 | Family Law

Spousal support is one of the more contentious issues that can come up in a Texas divorce. Regardless of the type of marriage it was, many might feel a certain level of resentment at being obligated to continue paying maintenance to a former spouse. From the receiving party’s perspective, they could see their contribution to the marriage and perhaps the success of the other spouse as unappreciated. During the case, it is important to have a grasp of what the law says for maintenance.

Texas laws for maintenance and how an amount is determined

Texas courts consider a number of factors when deciding on spousal maintenance. The court will look at the financial situation, what the lifestyle was during the marriage and the ability on the part of the prospective receiving person to maintain that lifestyle. If the recipient does not have significant experience, education or training to get a job that will let them support themselves as they were supported during the marriage, this will be accounted for in the support order.

The maintenance could also be limited in how long it lasts based on marital duration. The law specifically says how long maintenance must be paid based on certain issues. It cannot go beyond five years from the date of the order if the couple was married for less than 10 years and the receiving person does not have assets or income to provide for their basic needs. The same holds true for marriages that were between 10 and 20 years. For marriages that lasted 20 years but less than 30, the payments will be made for seven years. If it was 30 or more years, the payments will last for 10 years.

Other considerations can be part of the case and change the duration. If a person getting maintenance suffers from a disability or is caring for an infant or toddler, then it can be longer. The paying party cannot be asked to pay more than $5,000 per month or 20% of their average monthly gross income.

Maintenance is a vital part of a family law case that should be taken seriously

Maintenance can be a complicated area of family law. Many people might think that if they simply handle the case themselves, they will save money in the short and long run. In truth, that is the foundation for mistakes and missteps that will likely make the situation worse. This is true from the point of view of the person paying spousal support and the one receiving it.

Deciding to end a difficult or unhappy marriage is a complex one regardless of whether it is a primary breadwinner who is choosing to divorce or the spouse who might have earned less or served as a stay-at-home spouse or parent. Still, there are legal remedies that can be effective to have a good outcome.

During the case, it is useful to have professional representation to try and craft a workable solution. Not every case takes the tone of a courtroom drama on television. Although there are some cases like that, many Texas divorces can be settled relatively amicably or at least without lingering ill will. Creating innovative ways to have a successful result may be difficult, but it is possible. People should have caring advice and assistance with determining what they want and how to achieve it.