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What are my rights under Texas law in a spousal support battle?

The Texas Family Code governs spousal support, or maintenance payments, from one spouse to the other. Specifically, Chapter 8 gives you information that is valuable to you and will assist you in making decisions about spousal support and what you may need to do.

When the court in Texas begins to make a determination regarding spousal support, they have the complete right of law to determine the nature, amount duration and even the manner of payments. The following factors are taken into consideration:

-- The ability of each person involved and his or her ability to meet his or her own basic needs independent of the other spouse's income.

-- The education and employment skills of the two individuals and the necessary time it will take to train the receiving spouse to become employable.

-- The length of time the couple was married.

-- The mental and physical state of the spouse seeking maintenance.

-- The age, employment history and earning ability of the person seeking spousal support.

What are the effects the payments will have on the lives of any children involved and the ability to make support payments to both the spouse and the children?

The court will look at whether one of the people involved has taken drastic steps to reduce their asset level or property and income in order to avoid paying support. Did one of the spouses offer support for the education, training and earning potential of the other spouse? In other words, was one person keeping the home fires burning while the other spouse went out and earned a decent living?

The property and assets that were purchased or earned during the marriage will be examined in the case of a divorce to consider spousal support.

Knowing your rights under the law is important. A family law attorney can provide you with more information.

Source: Texas Statutes, "Family Code, Chapter 8, Maintenance," accessed April. 06, 2015

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