Yesterday was Buzz Aldrin’s 83rd birthday and what better time than now to discuss his recent divorce from his third wife, Lois Driggs Cannon.  According to numerous reports including the Huffington Post article Buzz Aldrin And Ex-Wife Lois Driggs Cannon Settle Their Divorce, Lois is receiving one-half of Buzz Aldrin’s fortune. 

After 23 years of marriage, the parties signed their settlement agreement on December 28, 2012.  Lois is reportedly receiving one-half of their bank accounts, $9,500.00 per month in spousal support, her automobile, and 30% of Buzz Aldrin’s annual income.  

In a divorce in Texas, property division can be quite complicated when you have an estate the size of the Aldrins as well as the length of their 23 year marriage.  Texas does have spousal maintenance.  The laws changed recently with regards to the amount of monthly spousal maintenance as well as the length of time for the spousal support payments.  

There are numerous factors the Court considers when deciding if to award spousal maintenance to a spouse as well as the amount and duration of court ordered spousal maintenance.  Factors include the length of the marriage, the age of the spouses, the education of the spouses, the employability of the spouses, the size of the estate, the monthly reasonable and necessary expenses of the person requesting spousal maintenance, marital misconduct, and family violence. 

The following is a break-down of Texas’ Spousal Maintenance amount and duration:

The amount of Texas Spousal Maintenance is the lesser of the following:

a)         $5,000.00 or

b)         20% of the spouse’s monthly gross income

 The duration of Texas Spousal Maintenance is as follows:

a)         5 years if the parties were married 10 – 20 years

b)         7 years if the parties were married 20 – 30 years

c)         10 years if the parties were married over 30 years.

This is not meant to be a complete discussion of Texas Spousal Maintenance and if you believe you qualify to receive spousal maintenance, you should consult with an attorney.