The reality of modern married life means that most couples will eventually share joint banking accounts at some point during their union. It is not uncommon for couples to pool their incomes to support their families. That is often because the co-mingling of funds between partners is often the most efficient way to pay shared expenses. Unfortunately, many marriages end unexpectedly, leaving some spouses financially unprepared to go it alone.
In a previous blog post, we touched on how alimony, which is called spousal maintenance in Texas, is often available in situations involving domestic violence. Generally, a court may award spousal maintenance where there has been evidence of physical violence within the last two years. Texas family courts will consider convictions or even deferred adjudication for physical or sexual assault as proof of domestic violence when making spousal maintenance decisions against the adverse party.
Some Texas spouses may also receive spousal maintenance if they had been married for 10 years or more and lack the ability to provide for their own minimum needs. It is important to know that simply meeting those requirements does not automatically guarantee the award of spousal maintenance. Spouses seeking maintenance must also demonstrate that they are actively attempting to obtain skills or reenter the workforce so that they may soon begin to provide for themselves.
Regardless of the reason for receiving an award of spousal maintenance, a spouse is limited to just three years of payments. Additionally, these payments cannot exceed either $2,500 per month or 20 percent of the adverse spouse's income, whichever is the lesser of the two.
Our law firm has over 20 years of experience representing clients in Houston and the greater Harris County Metro area. We do not charge an initial fee to discuss your case with you.