At O’Neil Wysocki, our experienced team of family law attorneys are committed to serving clients throughout the state of Texas. When it comes to alimony and maintenance, there are a number of legal disputes that can arise, which is why we want to help you understand this area of law. Below we recap Chapter 10 from attorney Michelle May O’Neil’s book, What You Need to Know About Divorce in Texas, and explain what you need to know about alimony / maintenance in Texas.
What Is Alimony / Maintenance?
In Texas, alimony refers to the right of spouses to agree on post-divorce support, while maintenance refers to a court ordered obligation for post-divorce support. The biggest difference between the two is the enforceability of alimony. Alimony is a contractual obligation, which means it can only be enforced through contractual remedies. The remedy for failing to pay maintenance can be wage garnishment and even jail time.
Who Is Eligible for Alimony / Maintenance?
Courts evaluate if the spouse seeking maintenance won’t have enough property after the divorce to provide for their minimal needs. If the court deems that the spouse won’t be able to support their basic needs, then it can impose an award of maintenance under the following conditions:
- One spouse was convicted of a crime involving family violence within 2 years of the divorce filing.
- The spouses were married for at least 10 years.
- The spouse seeking maintenance is the custodian of a child of the marriage who requires substantial care due to a metal disability that prevents the spouse from earning enough income to provide for the child’s needs.
How Long Can Maintenance Be Enforced?
Maintenance can only be enforced long enough for the spouse to earn sufficient income to provide for their needs. The spouse seeking maintenance must be eligible at the time of the divorce, circumstances that arise after the divorce will not make a spouse eligible for maintenance.
Get Help with Your Alimony / Maintenance Case Today
Are you going through a divorce? Is your ex seeking alimony / maintenance? If so, you should contact our law firm today to find out how to protect your rights. We can review your case and build a strong strategy so that you can pursue a fair case result.