If you are contemplating or going through a divorce in Texas, you may wonder if alimony will be involved. Will you have to pay it? Will you receive it automatically? What does it take for the Judge to order it?
Texas is one of the more difficult states in which to obtain spousal support, which is Texas’s form of alimony. While it is possible to receive or need to pay alimony, it only occurs in specific instances. Below, learn more about the requirements for spousal support to be ordered in Texas. If you have additional questions, our alimony lawyers in Texas can address them and provide outstanding legal representation.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony in most locations is contractual or court-ordered financial support paid by one spouse to the other spouse after a divorce is finalized. Alimony payments in Texas, also known as maintenance payments, are required only under specific conditions and can be quite challenging to obtain from a Court. To obtain these payments through a divorce, you are required to meet particular eligibility requirements under the Texas Family Code.
Spousal maintenance is not always awarded in Texas divorces; in fact, it is usually not awarded. While the parties can agree between themselves to exchange spousal support, a court can only award it if a party requesting it is eligible to receive it.
What Are The Texas Qualifications For Alimony?
To be eligible for alimony, the spouse requesting it must lack sufficient resources (property and income)—when the divorce is finalized—to provide for their minimum reasonable needs.
Also, one of the following situations must apply:
- The spouse paying alimony had been committing an act of family violence, the act must have happened during the two years leading up to the divorce or when the divorce was pending, and that act led to either a conviction or deferred adjudication.
- The spouse seeking alimony is incapable to earn enough income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs, and the inability is because of a significant mental or physical disability—or the inability is because of their responsibilities as a custodian for a child of the marriage who has a mental or physical disability.
- The spouses were married for more than 10 years.
If these situations do not apply, the requesting party is ineligible for maintenance payments.
What Will You Have To Pay Spousal Support In Texas?
Just because a person is eligible to receive maintenance does not mean they will actually get it. Once the person is proven qualified, the court must consider several additional factors to determine if a spousal support award is appropriate.
These factors include the party’s educational background, how long was the marriage, the age of the spouse wanting alimony, their employment history, efforts to secure employment, actual income of both parties, and other factors. Maintaining a certain lifestyle is generally not a factor a court will entertain.
The divorce court is limited or “capped” in the amount that can be ordered on a monthly basis. The court ordering spousal support can only order a party to pay up to the lesser of 20% of her average gross monthly income, or $5,000 per month.
Speak To Our Alimony Lawyers In Texas Today
The alimony laws in Texas are limiting and subjective to each case, so it behooves you to have superior legal representation on your side in these matters. Our alimony lawyers at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson can effectively represent you, whether you want alimony yourself or your spouse expects you to pay for it in a divorce proceeding. For a consultation, call us today at (214) 273-2400. We can discuss any alimony-related issue in your case and ensure you understand the implications for your future.