Spousal Support: What You Should Know About This Very Serious Topic

Divorcing can be one of the most emotionally and financially exhausting experiences anyone can ever go through. Now, imagine the possibility of having to pay spousal support. It may not be a topic that many want to talk about. To help keep you at ease, let’s alleviate some misconceptions about the possibility of having to pay spousal support.

Contact our divorce lawyers in McAllen to have your questions regarding spousal maintenance, child custody and more answered today!

Basic Information

In Texas, spousal support is called spousal maintenance. It’s a two-step process of figuring out when and how much you’ll pay. A person requesting spousal support can be eligible before a court can grant his/her request. Also, both parties can come to an agreement for post-divorce support when a court cannot do so. For a spouse to be eligible, he/she must lack sufficient property after a divorce is finalized in order to be provided with minimum reasonable needs. The following scenarios must also apply:

  • The spouse paying must have received deferred adjudication for family violence and or been convicted of family violence as defined by Texas law. These acts must have been committed two years before or while the divorce suit is pending.
  • The spouse seeking support is not able to earn enough money to provide for minimum reasonable needs due to being physically or mentally incapacitated. He or she is unable to fulfill their abilities as custodian of a child who needs substantial supervision.
  • The marriage must have lasted over 10 years.

If your former spouse cannot meet two of these scenarios, then he/she won’t be eligible for post-divorce spousal maintenance by the court.


If your former spouse is eligible to receive support from you, it does not necessarily mean he/she will receive it. After eligibility is granted, a court must look into a variety of factors to determine if there will be an award, how much it will be for and how long it will last. Factors include marriage length, educational background, age, if infidelity took place, employment status and efforts to find a job if unemployed. Once a court has looked into these, then an informed decision will be made whether or not a spouse will receive the maximum amount of support, no support or something in the middle.

Time Windows for Making Payments

If a court decides to grant spousal support, then the following factors will decide how long it will last:

  • If a marriage lasted over 10 years, a spouse can be eligible for up to five years of support if he/she can show eligibility.
  • If a marriage lasted over 20 years but less than 30, a spouse can be eligible for up to seven years of support.
  • If the marriage lasted over 30 years, a spouse can be eligible for up to 10 years of support.

Helping You as Best We Can

Keep in mind that the court is limited to how much will be awarded. The maximum amount it can order is less than $5,000 a month or 20% of the spouse’s monthly gross income. If you have any questions about spousal support or need assistance in handling your divorce, then contact our lawyers in McAllen today!

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