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Spousal support could be permanent for parents of special needs children

Spousal support is one of the important factors of any divorce case. If you’re working on your budget while thinking about seeking a divorce, one of the things you might want to consider asking for is spousal support as part of your property division agreement. If you aren’t sure that you can maintain your standard of living following your divorce or you need more support to move out on your own, then spousal support could be the answer.

Every state has different rules about spousal support, but Texas offers two forms. Texan courts may offer the lesser of $5,000 per month or up to 20% of the other spouse’s gross income each month.

Understanding permanent spousal support in Texas

Permanent spousal support is possible in Texas in some cases. It’s most likely if the petitioning spouse of their children are disabled or have special needs on an ongoing basis.

Support is based on a few factors, but the petitioning spouse does have to show that they can’t meet their own minimum, reasonable needs without it. If they can prove that, then support may be awarded for:

  • Up to half the length of the marriage if it was less than 10 years long and abuse was involved or up to five years for any marriage between a decade and 20 years
  • Up to 10 years for a 30+ yearlong marriage
  • Up to seven years for those married between 20 and 30 years

Which documents do you need if you want to seek spousal support?

If you would like to seek spousal support, then it’s a good idea to provide documents that verify your income, expenses and other factors you’d like to have considered. For instance, banking statements showing you paid for your spouse’s education could be beneficial in helping you get a larger spousal support award.

You will also want to have evidence of abuse or domestic violence if it occurred and you’re using it as a basis for seeking spousal support. If you’re interested in permanent support, then showing that your child has special needs or that you have a disability is required.

Your attorney can help you put together those documents for the court if you and your spouse can’t come up with a reasonable spousal support settlement on your own.