Spousal Maintenance vs. Child Support

Spousal Maintenance vs. Child Support

A question often asked during divorce cases is, “What is support, and how do I qualify for it?” To answer this, it is essential first to understand the two main types of support and how they can be obtained separately or together.

Child Support

Regardless of your case, child support is very likely to be ordered even if custody is shared. When determining child support, the court has several factors to consider:

  • The age and needs of the child
  • Provision for healthcare expenses
  • Any special circumstances – i.e. private school tuition

While these are only a couple of the things that get examined in a child support agreement, each decision can vary based on what the court deems is in the child’s best interest. Ultimately though, it may come down to your and your spouse’s income, so if your salary and expenses are comparable, child support may not be awarded at all.

Spousal Maintenance/Support

If you are getting divorced, whether or not children involved, or they are over the age of 18, you may qualify for spousal maintenance. Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code has an extensive list of what factors play into it, but here are some of the most common:

  • Ability to provide for minimum reasonable needs
  • Education and employment skills of each party
  • Marital Misconduct – adultery, cruel treatment, family history of violence, etc.

Like child support, spousal maintenance is awarded on an as-needed basis and can vary depending on the need of both parties involved.

Child Support & Spousal Maintenance/Support

There are instances in a child custody case in which child support will be issued along with temporary spousal maintenance/support. This is mainly because the court wants to ensure that all expenses –bills, food, healthcare – will be paid. Ultimately the court wants to make sure all needs are met. Once the case is no longer pending, the court will decide if this case qualifies for spousal maintenance. Factors like current or previous employment and ability to provide for yourself and your child can go into this determination.

If you have questions about your case and to know if you qualify for child or spousal support, contact the team at NB Family Law by calling 940.566.0606 or visiting nbfamilylaw.com to schedule a consultation.

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Navarrette | Bowen, P.C. | Family Law Attorneys | Denton, TX