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Texas Alimony

Alimony may also be called spousal support or maintenance. Under Texas divorce law, alimony is referred to as maintenance. The Texas divorce court may order maintenance for either spouse if the marriage lasted 10 years or longer.

Alimony is awarded based on the length of the marriage coupled with the fact that the spouse seeking maintenance lacks sufficient property even after Texas property division to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs and the spouse seeking maintenance:

  • is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability
  • is the custodial parent for a child from the marriage that requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that won't all the spouse to be employed outside the home
  • clearly lacks the earning necessary to provide support for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs

If the Texas divorce court determines that a spouse is eligible to receive alimony, the court will determine the nature, amount, duration and manner of periodic payments by considering factors like:

  • Financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • Education and employment skill of the spouses
  • Length of the marriage
  • Age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • Ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is requested to meet both parties' personal needs and provide periodic Texas child support
  • If either spouse acted to cause excessive or abnormal expenses or destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of marital property
  • Comparative financial resources of the spouses, including medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits
  • Separate properties of each spouse
  • Contribution of one spouse to the other's education, training or increased earning power
  • Property brought to the marriage by each spouse
  • Contribution of a spouse as a homemaker
  • Marital misconduct of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • Efforts of the spouse seeking maintenance to pursue available employment counseling

Texas divorce courts will limit the length of the maintenance payments to the shortest reasonable period that allows the spouse seeking maintenance to meet the spouse's minimum reasonable needs by obtaining appropriate employment or developing an appropriate skill.

Exceptions are possible if the ability of the receiving spouse's ability to provide for his or her needs through employment is substantially or totally diminished because of:

  • Physical or mental disability
  • Duties as the custodial parent of an infant or young child
  • Another compelling impediment to gaining employment

Under Texas divorce law, a divorce court may not order alimony that requires a spouse to pay monthly more than $2,500 or 20% of the spouse's average monthly gross income, whichever is the lesser of the two values. Texas alimony is terminated if the receiving spouse dies or remarries, and alimony may be modified if it can be proved there's a material and substantial change in the circumstances of either party.

Speak with a local Texas divorce lawyer to find out more about Texas alimony. Talk to your attorney about the circumstances of your divorce and how Texas divorce law may affect your alimony award. Connect today by calling 877-349-1310 or filling out a Texas divorce case review form.

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The above synopsis of Texas divorce laws is by no means all-inclusive and has been adapted from applicable state laws. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local Texas divorce lawyer in your area.

This "Texas Alimony Laws" page was last updated May 2009.

Note: Keep in mind that all divorce laws are complex. If you need legal divorce advice or want to fully understand how these laws affect you, please speak with a local divorce attorney.

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