The Criteria for Evaluating a Petition for Spousal Support

The past 50 years have seen a significant reduction in the number, amount, and duration of alimony awards in Texas and nationwide. The dramatic increase in two-income households has seen spousal support drop from being awarded in about 25% of cases to only 10%. In addition, there’s been a rise in temporary and so-called “rehabilitative” alimony awards, where recipients receive compensation for a limited period of time to allow them to become self-sufficient.

Nonetheless, Texas still allows a judge to award spousal maintenance on a discretionary basis, taking into account a wide range of factors, including the following:

  • the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including the community and separate property and liabilities apportioned to that spouse in the divorce proceeding, and that spouse’s ability to meet his or her needs independently
  • the ability of the spouse from whom alimony is requested to meet his or her own personal needs
  • the education and job skills of each spouse
  • the length of time the parties have been married—the longer the duration, the greater the likelihood of alimony
  • the age, employment history, earning ability, and health of the spouse seeking support
  • the dissipation of any marital assets
  • the contribution by one spouse to the education or earning capacity of the other
  • any pre-marital property
  • the contribution of a spouse as homemaker
  • any proven marital misconduct of the spouse seeking support
  • the efforts of the spouse seeking maintenance to pursue available employment counseling as set forth in Chapter 304 of the Texas Labor Code

Contact the Law Office of Mark B. Jones

To arrange a private consultation with an experienced Texas family law and divorce attorney, call us at 979-849-8076 or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located just two blocks from the courthouse in Angleton. We will meet with you evenings or weekends, if necessary. Credit cards are welcome, and payment plans can be arranged.