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The Foray Firm

Katy, Texas Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Katy TX Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Spousal Support Attorney Serving Fort Bend County

Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed in a Texas divorce settlement, regardless of the length of your marriage. Strict criteria must be met to convince a judge to award maintenance, sometimes referred to as spousal support or alimony. However, since most divorce matters are decided through negotiation rather than in court, you should consider maintenance as an option within your overall divorce agreement.

At The Foray Firm, we understand that, in many families, one spouse focuses more on income generation while the other devotes more time to home and family responsibilities. As a result, one spouse often lacks the up-to-date job skills necessary to become self-supporting immediately after a divorce, which is one argument we can make for maintenance.

Throughout the divorce process, you can rely on the financial know-how of the divorce lawyers at The Foray Firm Houston. We aim to ensure your long-term financial security through a combination of maintenance, child support, your full and fair share of community property, and protection of your separate assets. You can count on us to diligently analyze your financial situation and strongly advocate for your economic needs throughout the divorce process.

Texas Law on Spousal Maintenance

Whether you wish to seek or oppose an award of spousal support, the attorneys of The Foray Firm Houston will vigorously defend your interests.

Texas expects both spouses to support themselves after a divorce. A spouse must meet strict criteria to qualify for maintenance, and limits apply to the amount and duration of maintenance. This makes it difficult, though not impossible, to argue in favor of maintenance in divorce negotiations. That said, spouses often prefer to reach agreements through negotiation rather than pay the cost and risk the uncertainty of taking the issue of spousal support to court for a judge to decide.

Eligibility for spousal maintenance: Under state law, a judge can only award maintenance to a spouse who cannot meet their minimum reasonable needs after divorce—considering their separate property, their share of marital property, and earning capacity—due to one of the following reasons:

  • The parties were married for at least 10 years and the recipient spouse is unable to earn sufficient income to become self-supporting, subject to the requirement that the spouse makes diligent efforts to earn sufficient income or develop skills to do so during the period that the divorce is pending.
  • The spouse has a physical or mental disability that limits their earning capacity.
  • The spouse must care for the couple's disabled child of any age.
  • The spouse or their child was the victim of domestic violence committed by the other spouse within two years of the divorce filing, and the offending spouse was found guilty in criminal court.

Limits on maintenance: State law limits the amount of maintenance to the lesser of $5,000 per month or 20% of the obligor's gross income. The state also limits the duration of maintenance based on the length of the marriage and the reasonable amount of time it will take the recipient to obtain gainful employment. Except in cases where the recipient spouse is disabled or caring for a disabled child, the maximum duration of maintenance is 10 years for marriages of at least 30 years, seven years for marriages of at least 20 years, and five years for shorter marriages.

Factors considered in setting maintenance: The law permits consideration of all relevant factors in determining the final amount and duration of maintenance payments, such as:

  • The earning capacity of the maintenance recipient considering their age, employment history, skills, and physical and emotional condition.
  • The time necessary for the maintenance recipient to obtain education or training to improve their earning capacity.
  • The contribution by one spouse to the education or increased earning power of the other.
  • The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.
  • The property brought to the marriage by either spouse.
  • Marital misconduct, adultery, domestic violence, or waste of marital assets by either spouse.
  • The effect of maintenance and/or child support payments on each spouse's ability to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs.

Fort Bend County Spousal Support Lawyers

The attorneys of The Foray Firm are dedicated to providing reliable legal representation to families of all races, ethnicities, and genders. Contact us in our Houston, TX office at 832-919-6400. We serve clients throughout Houston, Harris County, Waller County, and Fort Bend County, including the communities of Fulshear, Katy, Richmond, and Sugar Land.

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