How Spousal Maintenance Is Determined in Texas

When a couple gets divorced in Texas, the state may award payments to be deducted from one spouse’s income such that the other spouse may be supported, through a process known as spousal maintenance. In order to make its decision on whether or not to award spousal maintenance, the court will evaluate the eligibility of one spouse to receive these payments.

Requirements to be given spousal maintenance

The Texas state legislature provides some specific requirements for spousal maintenance eligibility. If one parent is granted custody of a child or children who have a disability that prevents the parent from reasonably being able to provide for the family’s needs with the income he or she makes, spousal maintenance may be ordered.

If children are not part of the picture, it is still possible for one spouse to receive spousal maintenance if he or she was married to the other for 10 years or more, or if he or she suffers from an incapacitating disability. In either case, it is still necessary that the receiving spouse is unable to provide for him or herself on his or her own.

How is spousal maintenance provided?

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has stated that if the spouse from whom the maintenance is requested is unable to provide the money in cash payments, then it may be ordered that the payments be garnished from his or her wages. In these instances, either 20% of the maintaining spouse’s average monthly income or $5,000—whichever is lower—will be deducted every month.

The state examines all of the evidence available in making its decision. The aim is to ensure that a divorced parent or spouse is able to continue living in a reasonably healthy and satisfactory manner after the divorce.

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