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How is spousal maintenance determined?

If yours was like many other San Antonio marriages, then you may have elected to end your career in order to see to the matters of the home while your spouse became the primary income earner. Now that your marriage may be ending, you need to consider how to make ends meet now that that primary source of income is no longer in place. To supplement your living as you work to re-establish your own personal earning potential, the court may choose to award you spousal maintenance from your ex. This gives rise to the inevitable question of how is spousal maintenance determined.

The guidelines for determining adequate spousal maintenance listed in the Texas Family Code can be very complex. They include:

  •          Both you and your spouse’s age, education, work history, employable skills, and earning potential.
  •          Any property or assets that you brought into the marriage.
  •          Your contribution as a homemaker, or in allowing your ex to further his or her education and/or career.
  •          The amount of time that you were married.
  •          Your current financial, physical, and emotional state.
  •          Any incidents of marital misconduct, family violence, abnormal expenditures or fraud that may have occurred while you were married.

If you share children with your ex, his or her ability to make spousal maintenance payments on top of what he or she may already be required to pay in child support may also be considered.

It is important for you to remember, however, that the court will presume maintenance is not warranted unless you are already actively seeking ways to support your own needs or are in the process of expanding your skills to find a career that will make it easier to do so. 

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