How can I determine if a court will award me spousal support?

I have been residing with my fiance for 7 years. We have had 2 children together. We have filed taxes together. He left me for another woman and no way to support our children. Would I be able to obtain spousal support for any length of time?

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  Spousal support  - which is very  difficult as it is to obtain in Texas - is only permitted for those who are considered to be married.  Texas does indeed recognize common law marriage but I see a problem with how you are characterizing your relationship in that you call him "your fiance."  Here is what the requirements are:

  • live together for a significant period of time (not defined in any state)
  • hold yourselves out as a married couple -- typically this means using the same last name, referring to the other as "my husband" or "my wife," and filing a joint tax return, and
  • intend to be married.
  • You say that you filed joint returns which is a plus.  But the other factors may be hard here.  If yo can prove them the fact that you are taking care of your joint children is a plus for court ordered support but at the very least you can get child support court ordered.  Please seek legal help asap.  Legal aid.  Good luck.


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