In a Texas divorce, if one spouse does not have sufficient property to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs and is not able to earn enough income to provide for those needs and certain other circumstances are met, the court may order spousal maintenance. Tex. Fam. Code § 8.051. The duration of spousal maintenance is generally based on the length of the marriage, with 10 years being the greatest duration, for marriages longer than 30 years. However, in some circumstances, the court may order maintenance for a longer duration. When the spouse is unable to provide for their needs due to disability, the court may order maintenance for as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. Tex. Fam. Code § 8.051.
A wife recently challenged her divorce decree, in part because of the duration of the maintenance award. After the husband filed for divorce, the wife requested temporary spousal support and spousal maintenance after the divorce. The husband was ultimately ordered to pay $400 per month temporary support, starting November 15, 2015. The wife moved to enforce the order after the husband failed to start paying on time, and he began paying the following April.
At a hearing in October 2018, the wife testified she was disabled and it affected her ability to get employment. She testified regarding her retirement, her disability benefits, and her monthly expenses. She said she would not be able to pay for her expenses without spousal support.