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Spousal Support

Unlike elsewhere, spouses in Texas are generally not entitled to maintenance. Although temporary spousal support is common while the divorce is pending, only few situations require support beyond the final divorce decree.

The most common scenario of post-divorce maintenance is where the parties were married for more than ten years. Also, if the requesting spouse or a child involved is physically or mentally retarded, judges will consider long-term alimony requests.

If the parties have been married more than 10 years, Texas law authorizes the judge to award maintenance under some circumstances. For example, if one spouse is not self-sufficient and cannot provide minimum coverage, the court may order maintenance for a limited time based on the other spouse’s gross income.

Spousal Support - Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes. Courts may issue orders awarding temporary spousal support during the pendency of the divorce if one spouse is unemployed or earning significantly less than the other.
Unlike elsewhere, Texas law recognizes post-divorce alimony only in very limited circumstances.
The most common reason is that the marriage lasted for 10 years or longer and the requesting spouse lacks sufficient means and is the custodian of a child who requires substantial care and personal supervision, making it necessary for that spouse to remain at home with that child.
No, spousal maintenance can last no longer than:
• five years, if the marriage lasted less than ten years and the court ordered maintenance because the paying spouse committed an act of family violence
• five years, if the marriage lasted between ten and 20 years long
• seven years, if the marriage lasted between 20 and 30 years long, and
• ten years, if the marriage lasted 30 years or longer.
Typically, the maintenance will end when the receiving ex-spouse enters a new marriage.
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