There is a presumption under the Texas Family Code that alimony should not be awarded in a divorce case. However, this is a rebutbable presumption. This means that while the courts tend to presume that alimony is not necessary, a person can overcome that presumption. Only a qualified Austin divorce lawyer can tell you for sure if you qualify for alimony.
There are two “threshold factors” that need to be met for the court to order alimony.
The first I will call the “inclusive factor”. The second is the “determination factor.”
The “inclusive factor” determines whether you should be awarded alimony in the first place. If you meet the “inclusive factor”, then you move on to the “determination factor.” The “determination factor” is in what amount and for how long alimony should be awarded.
Generally in order to meet the “inclusive factor”a person has to satisfy the following two requirements:
- The marriage has to be for a length of 10 years or more; and
- The spouse requesting alimony cannot meet their minimum reasonable needs. (essentially that spouse is not currently earning at least $18,000.00 a year.)
If those requirements are met, the court moves on to the “determination factor”which are as follows:
- The amount of alimony-The amount of monthly alimony the court can order is the lesser of: 20% of the payor’s gross income or $2500.00 per month
- The duration can be from 0 to 36 months.
We will talk more about Alimony in an Austin divorce case soon.