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What Factors Can Affect Spousal Maintenance In Texas?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2023 | Family Law

Divorcing couples could have unique challenges when undergoing divorce proceedings. Sometimes, the court might identify an imbalance between parties regarding their financial stability and capacities to earn a living. It is not rare for some cases to have a sole parent who provides for the entire family.

In these situations, the court might encounter issues dividing assets properly, especially if the divorcing couple has conflicting opinions. If one spouse is at risk of losing their ability to afford bare life essentials after the divorce, the court could enforce a spousal maintenance order based on the circumstances.

However, each maintenance order has varying terms, depending on what is appropriate. The court considers the following factors when setting spousal maintenance details:

  • Each party’s ability to generate financial resources
  • Educational qualification and skills, including capabilities to receive training or education to improve employability
  • Length of the divorcing couple’s marriage
  • Each party’s earning capacity, employment history and age
  • Physical and emotional conditions
  • Capacity to shoulder spousal maintenance considering other financial obligations, such as child support
  • Vices that could lead to abnormal spending
  • One party’s contributions to the other’s education, training and improved earning capacity
  • Assets brought in by each party during the marriage
  • Contributions of each party as a homemaker
  • Misconduct committed by each party during the marriage
  • Other vital factors, such as a history of domestic violence or abuse

These considerations could impact the spousal maintenance details, including the amount, duration and payment terms.

Limitations On Spousal Maintenance

The court places certain limitations when determining details of the spousal maintenance order. The judge could use the marriage’s duration to indicate when it would be valid. Additionally, the judge could extend the order’s validity if the other spouse has reduced earning capacity because of disabilities, caregiving duties or other elements hindering them from seeking stable employment.

Still, the court could adjust the order according to the situation. Divorce could cause life changes, necessitating significant lifestyle adjustments. Fortunately, spousal maintenance exists to help both parties transition to post-divorce life without sacrificing their basic needs.