Alimony (also referred to as spousal support, spousal maintenance, or maintenance) is one of the most important aspects of a divorce case. Whether it is a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, the spouse who earns more is likely to pay alimony to the spouse who earns less or does not earn at all – usually for a specific period of time.
How does alimony in Texas work? What are the factors taken into account while calculating alimony payments? How long can a spouse receive alimony after divorce? We take a look at the answers to these questions and more in this article.
Alimony in Texas – What Does the Law Say?
Under Texas law, alimony is not guaranteed for either spouse in the event of a divorce. Both spouses, on the other hand, are guaranteed a fair share of the marital assets they own. If even after receiving their share of marital assets, a spouse is not able to meet their basic needs, they can seek alimony from the other spouse.
The circumstances under which a spouse can seek alimony in Texas from the other spouse include:
- If their marriage lasted for a period of ten years or more and the spouse who is seeking maintenance is unable to earn sufficient income to meet their basic needs
- If the spouse who is seeking maintenance is incapable of being gainfully employed due to a physical or mental disability
- If the spouse who is seeking maintenance has been given custody of a physically or mentally disabled child, as a result of which they are unable to work and earn sufficient income to meet their needs
- If the other spouse – from whom maintenance is being sought – has been convicted or received deferred adjudication for domestic abuse or violence against the spouse who is seeking maintenance or their child and if the offense was committed within a two-year period prior to the date of filing for divorce or after the divorce petition was filed
What Are the Factors Taken Into Account While Calculating Alimony in Texas?
Given below are the common factors that are taken into account while calculating the amount of maintenance a spouse can receive in the event of a divorce.
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and health condition of the spouse who is seeking maintenance
- The employability (educational qualifications, work experience, and other skills) of the spouse who is seeking maintenance
- The contributions made by the spouse (who is seeking maintenance) as a homemaker
- Whether the spouse from whom maintenance is being sought has a history of domestic abuse, violence, adultery, or cruel treatment
In addition to this, if the couple has children, then the ability of the spouse (from whom maintenance is being sought) to meet their basic needs after paying child support will also be taken into account by the court while calculating the amount of maintenance to be paid.
How Long Can a Spouse Receive Maintenance in Texas?
Alimony in Texas is generally meant to be paid for a specific period of time, which can be anywhere from five to ten years, depending on the duration of the marriage. In some cases, if the spouse who is seeking maintenance or their child is suffering from a physical or mental disability, the court might order the other spouse to pay maintenance for as long as the conditions exist.
Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Texas
Alimony can be a point of contention between you and your spouse in the event of a divorce. So, it’s crucial to be represented by an experienced divorce attorney who has an in-depth understanding of the laws related to alimony in Texas.
Eric M. Willie is one of the most successful and accomplished divorce attorneys in Texas. If you are thinking of getting a divorce, he can represent you, provide you with the legal counsel you need, and make sure your rights and interests are not violated at any stage of the divorce process – from the division of marital assets to spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support.
If you have any questions about alimony in Texas and other related issues, call our law firm today at 512-982-0714 or fill out this form to schedule an appointment with one of our family law attorneys.