Spousal support, formally known as spousal maintenance in Texas law, is a court-ordered alimony payment. When it comes to spousal support, the court will attempt to make a fair decision based on the available evidence – but fair can mean different things to different people.
If you are seeking support, or you are the one who is going to be required to provide support, it is very important that you have an attorney to represent you.
The Law Office of Rashelle Fetty of Colleyville is well-equipped to show the court what is truly fair and give you the best chance of getting the results you need.
Courts can order spousal support if the petitioning spouse lacks enough in property or assets to provide for basic needs along with one of the following circumstances:
- A spouse is convicted of committing an act of family violence against the other spouse or other spouse’s child during marriage if (a) the incident(s) occurred during divorce proceedings or (b) or within two years of filing for divorce
- The petitioning spouse has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from earning enough income to provide for basic needs
- The petitioning spouse is unable to earn enough income to provide for basic needs and the spouses were married for 10 years or longer
- The petitioning spouse has custody of a child from the marriage and the child requires special care for a mental or physical disability and thus cannot earn enough income to provide for basic needs
Factors for Consideration
Unless there’s a conviction for family violence, the court will begin with the assumption that spousal support is unnecessary. That’s why it is important that you have an experienced attorney such as Rashelle Fetty advocating for you as her law office will show the court the appropriate evidence to give you the best chance for an effective result.
If the court determines that an order for spousal support (spousal maintenance) is appropriate, the court will then determine how much to award and for how long based on a set of factors. Some of these factors include:
- Available financial resources at the time of divorce
- Educational and employment skills of each spouse
- Marriage length
- The petitioner’s age, employment history, ability to earn, physical health, and emotional health
- Child support
- Excessive spending of community property funds
- Destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposal of joint property
- The petitioner’s contribution of the education, training, or earning ability of the other spouse
- Marital improprieties such as adultery or abuse
- Family violence history
- Property that each spouse brought into the marriage
Spousal support is time limited, ranging from five years to 10 years depending how long the marriage lasted.
Securing spousal support or fighting a spousal support order is an extensive process. Therefore, it is always best to have an experienced family law attorney representing you. Contact Rashelle Fetty and the Fetty Firm today.