Spousal maintenance is not an option in all divorces. Texas law specifies exact situations in which the court may consider awarding support.
The first requirement is one spouse must have a financial need. This means he or she does not have enough assets to cover his or her basic needs. In addition, there must be one other factor that applies.
Ability to earn
There are a couple of factors that could qualify a person to receive spousal support based on their ability to support themselves financially. The first is being unable to secure employment due to having to take care of a child who has substantial disabilities. The child must be with the spouse who will pay for the maintenance. The second is the person is unable to earn a living due to his or her own disabilities.
If the person who would pay support has a past conviction of domestic violence within two years before the divorce or during the process, then this would qualify as a factor to award maintenance. The violence could be against the spouse or children.
Length of marriage
If the marriage lasted for 10 years or more, then the only other factor required is a financial need.
These are only the basic qualifications for a spousal maintenance order. The court will also look at the ability to pay and other factors to ensure the right type of support. The bottom line, though, is there has to be a need for the payments, and if not married for at least 10 years, there must be another qualifying factor.