When your Texas marriage comes to an end, you may have valid concerns about either having to support yourself on your own or, conversely, having to support your former partner once you go your separate ways. Regardless of which side of the equation you find yourself on, the factors that Texas courts consider when making spousal maintenance-related decisions are generally the same.

According to the Texas Statutes, while every family law situation is different from the next, a court will often consider a similar set of standards when evaluating whether, and for how long, to award spousal maintenance. More specifically, the court will often start by looking at elements that might include the earning potential, and future earning potential, of each party in the dissolving marriage as well as the existing financial situations of both parties.

Courts will also typically take into account how long a marriage lasted before making decisions regarding spousal support, and they may, too, look into whether one party in the marriage’s actions contributed to the financial demise of the other. Allegations of adultery or cruel treatment over the course of the marriage may also come into play, as can considerations about whether one party sacrificed his or her academic career or earning potential for the sake of his or her husband or wife.

It is generally not just one of these factors that determines whether you will ultimately pay or receive spousal maintenance in Texas, but rather, a combination of them all. Also, while these are some of the most common factors courts will consider when making maintenance-related determinations, this is not an exhaustive list of all areas that may undergo review.

This copy is meant for educational purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice.