Are you facing the prospect of divorce and wondering if you’ll be required to pay spousal support? The answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.” In Texas, spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance, is subject to specific criteria. Let’s break down the key points shared by our legal expert.
Minimum Marriage Duration: To even qualify for spousal support in Texas, you must have been married for a minimum of 10 years. This is a foundational requirement.
Showing Inability to Meet Minimum Needs: The spouse seeking spousal support must demonstrate that they cannot meet their minimum reasonable needs. This typically arises when one spouse, often the homemaker, has supported the other in various ways throughout the marriage.
Scenario for Spousal Support: A common scenario involves one spouse, often a stay-at-home parent, dedicating years to support their partner’s career or education. The spouse seeking spousal support may not have specialized skills or training to secure employment after the divorce. Spousal support aims to provide financial assistance during the transition period, allowing them to acquire necessary skills or training to become self-sufficient.
The Community Benefit Principle: The concept behind spousal support is that the community benefited during the marriage from one spouse’s contributions, such as caring for children or supporting the other’s career growth. Therefore, it’s considered fair for the community (through the paying spouse) to provide financial support for the recipient spouse to get back on their feet.
Determining the Amount: The amount of spousal support is determined by Texas statute. It varies based on the duration of the marriage. If you’ve been married for 10 years, the amount may be different from what it would be for a 20-year marriage. These statutory limits are in place to ensure fairness.
Burden of Proof: Importantly, it’s not automatic. The spouse seeking spousal support must plead their case and provide evidence that they meet the factors specified in the Family Code. He or she must prove that he or she cannot meet his or her minimum reasonable needs. It’s crucial to have a family law attorney guide you through this process.
Income of the Paying Spouse: The income of the paying spouse plays a significant role in determining the spousal support amount. However, it is also subject to a cap, which varies depending on the length of the marriage.
The question of whether you’ll have to pay spousal support after divorce in Texas depends on several factors, including the duration of your marriage, your financial situation, and your spouse’s ability to meet their minimum needs. It’s a complex legal matter that necessitates professional guidance. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate this process and ensure a fair resolution for both parties involved.
Martinez Legal, P.C.is available to serve your legal needs in family law, CPS cases, estate planning and business formations.
We have two locations to serve you: 1317 E. McKinney Street, Ste 109 Denton, Texas 76209, 940-320-2922 and 204 Walnut Street. #103 Decatur, Texas 76234, 940-320-2922