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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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Robert Reid McInvale
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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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