Can I get maintenance or will I have to provide maintenance to my spouse?

Either you can get maintenance or you will have to provide maintenance to your spouse in only two specific circumstances:

  1. The spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted or received deferred adjudication for family violence within two years from the suit for dissolution of the marriage or while the suit is pending; or
  2. If the marriage lasted more than 10 years, the spouse seeking support does not have “sufficient property” to provide for their “minimum reasonable needs,” and if the spouse seeking spousal maintenance either:
    1. Cannot support themselves and get employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
    2. Is the custodian of a child of any age who needs substantial care because of a physical or mental disability making it impossible for that spouse to obtain outside employment; or
    3. The spouse does not have the earning ability to provide support for that spouse’s minimum needs.

In determining the “nature, amount duration and manner of periodic payments,” the court will review specific statutory factors. Typically, spousal maintenance is limited to three years. However, the Texas Family Code does provide some exceptions relating to disability of a spouse or a child. Furthermore, the court may not order a spouse to pay more than $2,500, or 20%, of the spouse’s gross monthly income, whichever is less.