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Alimony and Spousal Support in Texas

There are two situations that result in payments from one spouse to the other after a divorce in Texas. Alimony and Spousal Maintenance. Texas does not have any laws entitling one spouse to receive Alimony, but it is still a possibility if the paying spouse chooses to agree to provide alimony payments.

Spousal Maintenance is valid in Texas. It is possible that the courts could require regular payments from one spouse to the other. To be eligible, the lower earning party must be able to prove that they are unable to meet reasonable needs after the divorce. Beyond this requirement, the lower earning spouse must meet one of the requirements below.

  • Paying spouse has been convicted of family violence in the last 2 years

  • Receiving spouse is mentally or physically disabled

  • The couple has been married at least 10 years

  • Receiving spouse is responsible for a mentally or physically disabled child

To determine the amount and duration, the courts will consider several factors including but not limited to the items below.

  • Receiving spouse's ability to earn a reasonable living

  • Adultery, cruel treatment, domestic violence

  • Assets brought into the marriage by both parties

  • Education/employment skills/work history

  • Duration of marriage

  • Paying spouses ability to pay

  • Receiving spouse supported paying spouse during education

Spousal Maintenance is limited to 20% of gross income or $5,000/month, whichever is less. Multiply the paying spouse's income before taxes by 0.2 and divide by 12. If that value exceeds $5,000, then $5,000/month is the maximum amount the paying spouse could be held responsible for. The court is likely to adapt the value based on the specific case if the case goes to court.

Texas laws require that the duration is limited to the shortest amount of reasonable time.

  • Support for 5 years= Married between 10 and 20 years. If family violence is a factor within the last two years then the marriage duration can be less than 10 years.

  • Support for 7 years= Married between 20 and 30 years

  • Support for 10 years= Married for 30+ years

If the financial situation changes for either party after the divorce is finalized, it is possible that the courts could reduce or terminate the requirement if the paying party files a motion to do so.

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