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Can i still ask for temporary spousal support in the final decree

Dallas, TX |

my ex husband went to court and got the child support re modify from 775 to 450 a month and then got two roomates living with him paying him rent, not only i want the child suport increase but can i ask for tempoary spousal support in the final decree, we have a divorce bench trail coming up next month

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    You will need to alter your pleadings and also qulify for it, but you should try, take care.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  2. You must qualify for spousal support in order for a judge to consider it.

    Sec. 8.051. OF THE TEXAS FAMILY CODE sets forth eligibility for maintenance. See http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.8.htm

    The information provided is not advice but a legal perspective and you should schedule a consultation with the lawyer of your choice.


  3. You will need to modify your pleadings to include this new request. Texas does provide for spousal support but it will be based on several factors. And if the court did not see fit to order spousal support previously it lessens the likelihood it will be ordered on Final.

    Disclaimer:The answer provided is for informational purposes only. It should not be relied upon as specific legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Information should not be acted upon without seeking professional legal counsel. Attorney Stevens can be contacted for a consultation at 888-908-6296 or tdstevens@tdstevenslaw.net


  4. If you have a trial coming up, you need to hire an attorney.

    In Texas, post-decree support is 100% at the discretion of the court. For the court to have any power to order such support, you have to have been married for at least 10 years or he has to have been convicted or received deferred adjudication for a crime that constitutes family violence within the last 2 years. If you meet either of those two tests, it is presumed that post-decree support is NOT justified if you have not made diligent efforts to secure employment that will allow you to meet your minimum reasonable living expenses or to obtain training that will lead to such employment. Once you can satisfy that objective, you have to prove what your minimum reasonable living expenses are, show how much you are able to earn on your own, then ask the court to award you the difference.

    As the other attorneys have told you, you will have to amend your pleadings to ask for post-decree spousal support. You are probably past the discovery deadline in your case. If I represented your husband, I would probably ask the court to either extend the discovery deadline or (more likely) postpone the trial for a few months while I explored the basis of your claims for spousal support.

    You can ask the court to deviate from guideline child support based on the fact that another person is paying part of your husband's living expenses OR you can argue that the rent being paid should be added to your husband's gross income to raise the result of the guideline calculation. Either way, it's the same result. It's probably easier to convince the court to increase his gross income by the amount of rent he is receiving than to deviate from guidelines, for technical reasons.

    Another thing you should focus on is the safety of your children in a "fraternity dorm" environment that it sounds like your husband may have created. I don't know the age and gender of your children, but I would NOT allow my daughters to spend the night with a bunch of single guys in the house without a lot more information about who they are and how they spend their time.

    As I said, these are complicated matters and to have a chance at getting the outcome you want, you will need to hire an attorney. 60% of the cases in Collin County and nearly 80% of the cases in Dallas County Family Court involve pro-se parties, and they almost always end badly for everyone.

    Good luck!!


  5. You are going to need proof that he is getting the rent paid by roommates. You will need to subpoena his bank account. Temporary support is only temporary. If you meet the qualifications, you might be able to get spousal maintenance.
    Maintenance is designed to provide for a spouse who is unable to provide for himself or herself to a reasonable standard following the divorce. Generally this is due to sacrifices made by the individual during the duration of the marriage. As it determines an appropriate amount, Texas family court generally considers a wide range of factors, including:
    • Age
    • Assets and debts
    • Contribution spouse made as a homemaker
    • Education level
    • Employability and vocational skills
    • Length of the marriage
    • Marital misconduct: adultery or family violence
    • Number of children
    • Separate property
    • Special needs

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