If a court has determined that you have met the burden of proof for needing spousal maintenance, the next step is determining for what period of time you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance. The Texas Family Code previously stated that a party could only receive spousal maintenance for a maximum of three years. The Code was recently amended and now states that a person is eligible to receive spousal maintenance for the maximum of:
- Five years if the parties were married less than ten years and the maintenance is awarded due to family violence;
- Five years if the parties were married more than ten years but less than twenty years;
- Seven years if the parties were married more than twenty years, but less than thirty years;
- Ten years if the parties were married for more than thirty years
The judge will take your specific circumstances into account when deciding whether to award spousal maintenance and how long to award spousal maintenance. The underlying idea of spousal maintenance is to help a divorced party get back on their feet in the wake of a divorce, not to permanently provide a source of income for a party.
If you believe you are eligible for spousal maintenance, please call to schedule a consultation with an experienced Houston Divorce Lawyer at (713) 225-6200 or visit us on the web at RamosFamilyLaw.com.