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What factors will Texas courts consider in maintenance actions?

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2021 | Family Law |

One hotly contested issue in many divorces is that of alimony, known as “maintenance” in Texas. While the opportunity to obtain maintenance in a divorce in Texas is limited, both parties to the divorce will want to see that the maintenance award is fair when it is allowed — especially to husbands who may be ordered to pay maintenance to their ex.

The following are the relevant factors a court will consider when determining the nature, amount, duration and manner of periodic payments when warranted.

Minimum needs

One factor courts will consider is each party’s ability to independently provide for that party’s minimum needs keeping in mind that party’s financial resources following the divorce. In addition, if a father is paying child support these payments will be considered in light of each party’s ability to provide for their minimum reasonable needs.

Employability

A second factor courts will consider is each party’s education and employment skills. This includes how long it will take for the obligee (the spouse seeking maintenance) to obtain enough training and education to earn sufficient income, along with the availability and feasibility of that training and education. In addition, the age, work history, earning ability and health of the obligee will also be considered.

How long the marriage lasted

A third factor that will be considered is the duration of the marriage. What is considered fair, reasonable and necessary may be different for long-term marriages versus short-term marriages.

Waste and misconduct

If one party excessively or abnormally spent money prior to the conclusion of divorce proceedings, destroyed assets, concealed assets or fraudulently disposed of community property, this may also be considered. Any acts of marital misconduct such as cheating or cruel treatment may also be considered, as will any history or pattern of family violence

Contributions to the marriage

If one party contributed to the education, training or increased earning capacity of the other party, this may be considered. In addition, courts will consider contributions made by a party who stayed out of the workforce to care for the home.

Seek help with your divorce

Husbands in Georgetown going through the divorce process will want to ensure that any maintenance actions are fair. For more information, consider consulting with an experienced Texas family law attorney.