San Antonio Spousal Maintenance Lawyers
Legal Counsel You Can Rely on Through Thick & Thin
Spousal maintenance (often called alimony or spousal support) arrangements can help one party maintain a good quality of life post-divorce. Navigating a spousal maintenance dispute can also be complex, especially if the parties disagree on terms for the alimony arrangement.
At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, our experienced San Antonio spousal maintenance attorneys have the tools to help you pursue an equitable spousal maintenance arrangement with your soon-to-be-ex.
How Does Spousal Maintenance Work in TX?
In a spousal maintenance arrangement, one party (the payor) provides the other party (the recipient) with financial support, often to help them maintain a good quality of life post-divorce.
An individual can request spousal support if:
- They and their spouse both agree on the need for spousal maintenance (and negotiate an equitable amount);
- Their marriage lasted at least ten years, and they cannot provide for their reasonable needs. To demonstrate a need for spousal support, the prospective recipient must lack the property and income to support themself, and either be the caretaker of a disabled child, be disabled themself, or lack the earning ability or provide for themself;
- Their spouse was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for family violence charges within two years of filing for the divorce;
- Their spouse sponsored them as an immigrant, and the prospective recipient can enforce an Affidavit of Support.
Most commonly, courts award spousal support because one party shows they lack the property, income, or earning capability to reasonably support themself.
To determine whether this is indeed the case, courts examine various aspects of the case, including:
- The duration of the marriage;
- The health and age of each spouse;
- How the spouses treated each other (and what roles they fulfilled) during the marriage;
- The property and income possessed by each party at the time of the divorce;
- The earning potential of both spouses, and how long it would take the prospective recipient to support themself financially with additional training;
- How paying for spousal maintenance would impact the prospective payor;
- Any other factors the court considers relevant to the case.
How Much Are Spousal Maintenance Payments in TX? How Long Do They Last?
Unlike some states, Texas does not use a formula to calculate how much spousal support a payor may owe a recipient. Courts use the same factors we covered above to determine how much spousal maintenance would constitute an equitable outcome for both parties.
Similarly, the length of spousal maintenance arrangements in Texas varies. The length of the marriage plays a major factor:
- If the marriage lasted for at least 10 years but less than 20, spousal maintenance can last for up to five years;
- If the marriage lasted for at least 20 years but less than 30, spousal maintenance can last for up to seven years;
- If the marriage lasted for 30 years or more, spousal maintenance can last an indefinite amount of time (10 years or more).
Other factors, such as whether family violence played a role in the case or how long it may take the recipient to support themself financially, can also affect the length of the spousal maintenance arrangement.
At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, our San Antonio spousal maintenance lawyers will help you pursue an equitable outcome in your spousal maintenance case.