The Criteria for Evaluating a Petition for Spousal Support

The Factors for GrantingAlimony in a Texas DivorceThe 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.

When You Can File for Divorce in Texas

The Legal Grounds for Divorce in TexasIn Texas, in order to file for and obtain a divorce, you must state the grounds upon which you seek to terminate your marriage. There are seven different reasons you can give the court, six of which involve an allocation of fault on the part of one spouse.

No-Fault Divorce in Texas

Though there have been efforts to repeal the Texas no-fault divorce law in the last couple years, it’s still on the books. If you want to seek a no-fault divorce, the grounds typically stated are that the marriage is “insupportable,” which means there is conflict or discord between you and your spouse and no “reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”

At-Fault Divorce in Texas

Assessing fault in a Texas divorce proceeding can be advantageous with respect to custody, visitation, support, or property determinations. The grounds for at-fault divorce in Texas are the following:

  • Living apart—This ground is available if you have not lived with your spouse for at least three years
  • Confinement in a mental institution—You can seek to terminate your marriage if your spouse has been or will be confined in a state or private mental hospital for at least three years. You also must show that the mental condition is such your spouse is unlikely to recover, or if there is a recovery, that a relapse is probable.
  • Cruelty—You can file for divorce if your spouse has subjected you to treatment that makes it impossible for you to live together.
  • Abandonment—If your spouse has left the marital home and been gone for at least one year, that is sufficient grounds for divorce.
  • Conviction of a felony—You must bring evidence to the court that your spouse has been convicted in a court of law.
  • Adultery—You must provide proof of adultery to the court. You cannot obtain a divorce merely on the assertion of infidelity.

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.