ELIGIBILITY FOR SPOUSAL SUPPORT
A spouse requesting post-divorce support in Texas must be eligible to receive spousal maintenance before a court can grant the request. The court cannot award spousal maintenance to a non-eligible spouse on its own. However, parties are free to agree and contract for post-divorce support even when the court would not have the power to do so.
In order to be eligible, the spouse seeking maintenance must lack sufficient property once the divorce is final (including separate property) to provide for her minimum reasonable needs.
Additionally one of the following two scenarios must apply:
1. The paying spouse must have been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an act of family violence as defined by Texas law. Additionally, the act of family violence must have been committed either:
a.) During the marriage (but no more than two years before the date the divorce suit was filed); or
b.) While the divorce suit was pending.
2. The spouse seeking maintenance is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs and:
a.) Their inability is due to an incapacitating physical or mental disability; or
b.) Their inability is due to their responsibilities as the custodian of a child of the marriage who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability; or
c.) They been married to the other spouse for 10 years or more.
If your spouse cannot meet the conditions set out in at least one of the above scenarios, then they are not eligible for court-ordered, post-divorce spousal maintenance.