A trial court may order Texas spousal maintenance, sometimes referred to as “spousal support” or “alimony,” if certain criteria are met pursuant to Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.051.. If the marriage lasted at least 10 years, a court may order spousal maintenance to a spouse who does not have sufficient property or earning ability to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs. Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.051(2)(B). A court may also award spousal maintenance to a spouse who does not have sufficient property and is not able to earn sufficient income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs due to their own incapacitating disability or the disability of the parties’ child.
Husband Order to Pay Spousal Maintenance
A husband recently challenged an order requiring him to pay spousal maintenance, arguing the wife had been awarded sufficient property to meet her reasonable minimum needs. The wife petitioned for divorce after nearly thirteen years of marriage. The trial court ordered the husband to pay $2,500 in monthly spousal support for two years and he appealed.
The marriage had lasted for more than 10 years, so the wife was eligible to pursue spousal maintenance if she did not have sufficient property or the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for her minimum reasonable needs. The trial court had awarded her assets worth $830,871.60 and she estimated her expenses to be $6,791 per month.