Are there different types of spousal maintenance in Texas? If so, what are they? Understanding your options when it comes to spousal maintenance can help you ensure you get the best outcome for your case, whether you're a potential maintenance payor or recipient.
To schedule a consultation with our team and work with an experienced attorney on your case, contact us online or via phone at (972) 852-8000.
Spousal Support & Contractual Alimony in Texas
It's important to note that spousal maintenance is actually different than "spousal support" or "alimony" in Texas.
In Texas, spousal maintenance refers to a court order requiring one party to supply another with support, regardless of whether the couple agrees on the necessity of support. In contrast, individuals can voluntarily enter into contractual alimony or spousal support agreements, wherein one individual willingly supplies the other with a certain amount of support.
When couples enter into a contractual alimony contract, if they get the agreement accepted by the court, it will become part of the divorce decree.
Are There Different Types of Spousal Support in Texas?
While some states go out of the way to offer individuals different types of spousal support or maintenance, Texas does not. However, various guidelines do determine how long spousal maintenance lasts in Texas.
To obtain spousal maintenance, the recipient must demonstrate one of the following:
- The potential payor has been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a family violence offense within the last two years;
- The marriage lasted at least a decade, and the prospective recipient lacks the ability to provide for their needs, is disabled, or is the primary caretaker of a disabled child;
- The parties agree on a spousal maintenance arrangement;
- The recipient is a sponsored immigrant, and as such, is entitled to enforce an Affidavit of Support entitling them to support equal to 125% of the federal poverty guidelines until they become a citizen or earn 40 credits of work history.
How long the marriage lasted, or the circumstances of the order also impact the length of the spousal support arrangement. Support awarded to survivors/victims of domestic violence or recipients who were married at least one but less than two decades cannot last more than five years. Maintenance for couples married between two and three decades cannot last more than seven years. Marriages that lasted three decades or more may result in maintenance obligations of up to 10 years.
To schedule a consultation with our team and work with an attorney who will fight for your rights, contact us online or via phone at (972) 852-8000.