The Law Office of Judy Ritts
Spousal Support

Temporary Spousal Support is money paid by one spouse to another while a divorce is pending. After divorce one spouse may pay Spousal Maintenance to the other.

Temporary Spousal Support is common in cases where one spouse, after separation, has access to significantly more community assets and/or funds than the other spouse (e.g., one spouse is unemployed or earns much less than the other). On the other hand, if both spouses are employed and earning approximately the same income (or at least sufficient income for their support), Temporary Spousal Support will be harder to justify.

There are no guidelines for the amount of Temporary Spousal Support. Courts are free to award any amount. The Court will, however, consider any child support award in their deliberation on how much Temporary Spousal Support to award.

Spousal Maintenance is another world. Most people refer to it as “alimony,” but Texas calls it Spousal Maintenance. This is money paid by one person to their former spouse after their divorce. There are several factors in the Texas Family code that affect eligibility for Spousal Maintenance. In general, they are:

The payor has been convicted of domestic violence within two years of filing or during the divorce OR The parties have been married for at least ten years, one spouse does not have enough property, including from the divorce, to meet their minimum reasonable needs AND that spouse is either disabled, cannot work because they care for a disabled child or cannot earn enough to support themselves.

A former spouse may need to acquire job skills through education or job training. You should have a specific plan and timeline to present to the Court. A disability that prevents a former spouse from working can also demonstrate need. There are many other circumstances that might justify Spousal Maintenance and each case is considered on its own merits.

Spousal Maintenance may be ordered for up to three years unless the recipient is disabled. In that case, payments can be ordered for an indefinite period not to exceed the recipient’s disability.

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Practice Areas
  • Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Adoption Law
  • Child Custody Law
  • Child Support
  • Visitation Rights
  • Domestic Violence
  • Spousal Support
  • Paternity
  • Father's Rights

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