Understanding Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also commonly referred to as alimony or spousal support, can be ordered by the judge under the Family Code, or it can be included in a contract between the parties. In a high-asset divorce, spousal support is most commonly the contractual variety to provide tax benefits.

In the state of Texas, courts may only order spousal maintenance if a spouse is unable to cover basic needs with the property division. But other factors have to exist as well. It is always advisable when spousal support is an issue, to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney when making decisions about whether an award of spousal support is necessary.

Courts may award temporary support to a spouse while the divorce is pending if the requesting spouse can demonstrate a financial need. However, after the divorce, criteria are considered to determine whether a more permanent award is essential, how much and for how long.

Anyone seeking support after divorce is final in Texas must be married for 10 years or more, or cannot cover reasonable needs with other assets, or has a child who requires care and personal supervision. Sometimes these are the very issues in controversy.

Will a court award spousal support in your circumstance? It will depend on your situation — and the help of an experienced family law attorney. If significant assets are involved, you'll want to seek out a lawyer with the credentials and the ability to thoroughly handle your case.

Praise For Professional Achievement In Handling Family Law Matters

Martha Bourne has been handling high-asset divorces for more than 30 years. She is Board Certified and highly respected within the community.

Texas Super Lawyers has recognized Houston family law attorney Martha Bourne for almost a decade. She has also received an AV Preeminent-rating* by Martindale-Hubbell. Both awards are bestowed by fellow peers for outstanding achievement in the legal profession.

Similar to Super Lawyers, this rating is provided to attorneys who have received high praise from other members of the bar for their knowledge and ethical standards.

If you have questions about spousal support in your divorce, reach out to Martha Bourne at 713-581-8260.

*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general practice standards.