What You Need to Know About Qualifying for Alimony in Texas
In divorce, Texas may grant alimony or spousal support to either spouse. Here’s everything to know about alimony in Texas.
Either spouse can request alimony during the divorce process in Texas.
However, the court can only award support if the requesting spouse doesn’t have enough property at the time of the divorce to provide for basic needs and at least one of the following circumstances exists:
- The supporting spouse was convicted of an act of family violence against the other spouse or children within two years of the divorce filing, or while the divorce is pending
- The spouse seeking maintenance is unable to earn enough income to be self-supporting due to an incapacitating physical or mental disability
- The couple has been married for at least ten years, and the dependent spouse cannot earn income to meet basic needs, or
- The supported spouse is a custodial parent of a child who requires substantial care or personal supervision due to a mental or physical disability preventing the parent from working and earning an income. (Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.051)
Related: How to Calculate Alimony in Texas
The court has a lot to consider when deciding the spousal support given.
Considerations include but are not limited to:
- Each spouse’s ability to provide for that spouse’s reasonable needs
- Each spouse’s education and employment skills and the time necessary to acquire education or training to enable the supported spouse to earn enough income to become financially independent
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance
- If child support is a factor in the case, each spouse’s ability to meet needs while paying child support
- Whether either spouse wasted, concealed, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of any community property
- Whether either spouse contributed to the other’s education, training, or increased earning power during the marriage
- The property both spouses brought to the marriage
- Any contributions of a spouse as a homemaker
- Marital misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment by either spouse during the marriage, and
- Any history or pattern of family violence.
Termination of Alimony
Termination of alimony differs depending on the circumstance.
Some factors include:
- A party dies
- The supported spouse remarries
- The supported spouse cohabitates with a third-party while in a dating or romantic relationship or upon the court’s review.
Calculation of Support
Unlike many other states, the laws in Texas limit the amount of support a court can order. Maintenance awards may not be more than $5000 per month or more than 20% of the spouse’s average monthly gross income (whichever is less).