Can you ask for spousal maintenance in a Texas divorce?

Divorce is an expensive process. You have to pay for attorneys and the courts’ time. You will also have to split your assets with your spouse. 

If your spouse is the one who works or who was the primary wage-earner in your family, you may not feel like you can support yourself during or right after a divorce. Do you have the right to ask for alimony or spousal maintenance as part of your Texas divorce proceedings?

Spouses can sometimes qualify for maintenance

Texas state law does allow the courts to award one spouse maintenance if the recipient husband or wife can prove that they’re struggling to support themselves and their spouse has the means to pay. However, there are many restrictions on spousal maintenance. 

Dependent spouses who have had long-term marriages often qualify for maintenance. Ten years is likely the minimum length of the marriage necessary for a spouse to seek maintenance based on the duration of the marriage alone. Even then, it is more likely that the courts will order short-term support so that the non-working spouse can resume working rather than receiving permanent maintenance. 

A spouse who was the victim of family violence could ask for maintenance if the courts convict their ex of a criminal offense. It’s also possible for those with marital agreements or a mediation settlement requiring spousal support to ask for money from their ex. Finally, dependent immigrant spouses can potentially ask for maintenance when they divorce so that they don’t become dependent on state benefits. 

Learning about the options available to you in your divorce will help you set yourself up for a stable financial future.