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What is considered when spousal support is awarded in Texas?


A common source for discord in a Texas divorce is whether spousal support will be awarded or not and how much it will be. Those who are concerned about the family law issues related to paying or receiving spousal support should be aware of the factors that go into its determination. This is a frequent reason for dispute and should be completely understood from the time the decision is made to file for divorce.

The ability on the part of the receiving spouse to provide for the minimum needs for survival in an independent way with the financial resources at the time of the divorce will be considered when deciding how much support will be paid. The receiving spouse's skills and education level and the amount of time it will take to accrue skills and education to be able to self-support, as well as how feasible and available education and training for these skills are factored in when deciding on spousal support. The length of the marriage is important when the decision is made. A spouse will have a certain employment history, ability to earn, and emotional and physical condition - these will be weighed when spousal support is determined.

The spouse who might have to pay will have his or her ability to provide for the recipient's needs while providing support for children, if any, and the maintenance will be assessed. In some instances, there were expenditures that exceeded what was necessary or there was destruction, concealment or fraud with property - this is a consideration with spousal support. If a spouse helped the other spouse with education and training or increasing the earning power, that is important.

Spouses might have brought property into the marriage, there could have been contributions by a spouse as a homemaker, marital misconduct might have taken place such as abuse or cruelty, and there could have been domestic violence - all are issues that the court will account for. When a couple decides to end a marriage, there are a myriad of issues that will come to the forefront including the payment of maintenance. For both the prospective supporting spouse and the receiving spouse, it is imperative to have a legal professional who is experienced in family law to help with a case.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Sec. 8.052. Factors In Determining Maintenance.," accessed on March 20, 2017

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