Texas spousal maintenance is intended to give temporary support to a spouse whose ability to support themselves has diminished and whose assets are insufficient to support them. After 10 years of marriage, a spouse who shows they lack sufficient property or the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for their “minimum reasonable needs” may be entitled to spousal maintenance. Tex. Fam. Code § 8.051(2)(B). They must, however, overcome the rebuttable presumption that maintenance is not warranted by showing they have exercised diligence in earning sufficient income to provide for their reasonable needs or developing the necessary skills to do so during separation and the pendency of the divorce case. Tex. Fam. Code 8.053. In a recent case, a wife appealed a trial court’s denial of her request for spousal maintenance.
The appeals court’s opinion stated the parties got married in 2009 and separated in 2018. The husband lived in Texas and the wife lived in a vacation condominium they bought in Illinois in 2018. The husband petitioned for divorce in 2019 and the final hearing occurred in February 2021.
The husband requested an equal property division and no spousal maintenance.
The wife asked for a 60/40 split of the assets and $5,000 per month in spousal maintenance for five years. She had not worked during the marriage or during the divorce case. Her mother testified she loaned her $37,500 during the separation. The husband had also transferred about $50,000 worth of assets to the wife during the case. The wife testified her monthly living expenses were about $12,000. She had last worked as a medication aide in 2008. She testified she previously worked as a certified nursing assistant but did not want to do so again. She testified her dental assistance certification did not transfer to Illinois. She also testified she had photography certifications but had not tried to earn income from them. She started a real estate course in 2019, but had not passed part of the test. She also admitted she had “not done anything” to become employed since the divorce case commenced. She said businesses were closed due to the pandemic and she did not have time to seek employment due to the divorce case.
Continue Reading ›