Can I get support for myself and my children?
Maintenance (spousal support)
In Texas, spousal support is called “maintenance.” A judge may order maintenance for either spouse if the spouse asking for maintenance will not have enough property (including separate property) when the marriage ends to provide for his/her minimum needs AND either:
1) The spouse that has to pay maintenance meets ALL of these requirements:
- s/he was convicted (or received deferred adjudication) for a crime that is an act of family violence;
- the act of family violence was committed during the marriage against the spouse asking for support (or his/her child); and
- the crime occurred within two years before the filing for divorce or while the divorce was pending.
2) The spouse that is asking for maintenance meets ONE of these requirements:
- s/he is not able to earn enough money to provide for his/her minimum needs because s/he has an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
- s/he has been married for 10 years or more and does not have the ability to earn enough money to provide for his/her minimum needs; or
- s/he has custody of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that does not allow the spouse to earn enough money to take care of his/her minimum needs.*
The judge may require one or both parents to provide child support until:
- the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later;
- the child is emancipated (released from custodial care); or
- the death of the child.
If the child is disabled, child support payments could last for an indefinite period of time.**
Parents will also be required to pay medical support for their children.***
For information on how Texas calculates child support see Texas Family Law Information. For additional information about child support in Texas, you can go to Get Child Support Safely. (WomensLaw.org has no relationship with these websites. We provide the links for your information only.)
* Tex. Fam. Code § 8.051
** Tex. Fam. Code § 154.001
*** Tex. Fam. Code § 154.008