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Spousal support in Texas has rules that govern the award

Getting divorced involves many different factors. Spousal support is one of those touchy issues that can come up. The definition of spousal support, or maintenance, is that it is an award made in a divorce for payments that will be given periodically to one spouse from the future earnings of the other spouse.

One thing to be aware of is that spousal support, if not paid, can be deducted or withheld from your wages, thus making for a very embarrassing situation at work.

In order to be eligible for the support payments, you must prove without a doubt to the court that you will lack sufficient property to provide for your minimum needs. You may have to prove that your spouse was convicted of a felony for family violence against you or your children. Another rule is the timing; you must file for spousal support within two years of the divorce being filed.

If you are truly unable to earn enough income to meet your obligations because you have a physical or mental disability, the court may rule in your favor. Also, if you have been married to your spouse for at least 10 years and you do not have the ability to earn income because you may have been out of the job market during that time or you are the custodial parent for a child that needs substantial care and supervision because he or she has a mental or physical disability, you may get a favorable response.

It is at the court's discretion to award you maintenance, and while you may deserve it, there is a method that judges in Texas refer to when awarding a specific amount each month. They also have the right to limit the time frame that the payments will be made. They consider your ability to earn, extenuating circumstances and even look at your education and skill level.

Is it becoming clear that there is so much involved in getting an award for spousal support? You may want to contact a legal professional who can help.

Source: Texas Family Code, "Chapter 8. Maintenance" Jan. 12, 2015

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