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Changes Affecting Spousal Support in Texas

Spousal support is often a highly contentious element of divorce. Many people are under the mistaken impression that spousal support is extremely difficult to obtain in the Lone Star State. Recent changes to the Texas Family Code make it easier to obtain spousal support provided that the spouse who seeks maintenance meets certain conditions. The changes in the law are a welcome addition to the web of statutes that surround divorce.

In Texas, a court can order maintenance, which is also commonly referred to as spousal support or alimony, on a number of different grounds. The court must find that the spouse seeking the maintenance lacks sufficient means to meet minimum reasonable needs. Some situations where the court may order maintenance include:

  • Where the spouse seeking maintenance is so incapacitated physically or mentally that the spouse is unable to earn a sufficient income to provide for reasonable needs of living
  • Where the spouse seeking maintenance shows that the marriage has lasted for at least 10 years and the spouse lacks the ability to earn enough to provide for reasonable needs
  • Where the spouse is responsible for the care of a physically or mentally disabled child of the marriage and that disability prevents the spouse from earning enough to provide for reasonable needs.

Securing spousal maintenance involves the consideration of many factors by the court. A skilled family law attorney can examine the facts of your situation and can advise you of the best way to approach your request for maintenance.

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