Texas Family Law – Texas Alimony Laws

In Texas, alimony is also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support. Spousal maintenance gives a spouse scheduled payments from the former spouse’s income after the divorce has been finalized. Texas alimony laws do not guarantee that a spouse will receive spousal maintenance payments. The spouse requesting spousal maintenance must demonstrate that he/she does not have adequate income to cover the costs of basic needs. However, the courts may order the spouse to make alimony payments if the other spouse is unable to work.

Qualifications under Texas Alimony Laws

Spouses must meet certain qualifications under Texas alimony laws to receive spousal maintenance payments. Family court judges can order a spouse to make spousal maintenance payments if the spouse requesting those payments can show that they will be unable to support themselves. Other qualifications include if the paying spouse has been convicted of domestic violence during the marriage or the divorce proceedings, as well as if the spouse seeking support has custody of a minor child with special physical or mental needs.

Factors of Texas Alimony Laws

After the court orders a spouse to make alimony payments, the judge will then look at numerous factors to specify the amount of each payment and the duration of the support payments. The judge will examine the financial resources available to each spouse, their educational and occupational skills, the length of the marriage and the earning potential for each spouse. Texas alimony laws allow judges to consider other related factors, such as patterns of adultery, cruelty and domestic violence, when determining spousal maintenance payments.

Texas Alimony Laws and Duration of Marriage

Texas alimony laws specify that the couple must have been married for one partner to qualify for spousal maintenance payments. Alimony payments can last up to five years if the lasted between ten and twenty years, or if the marriage lasted less than ten years and one spouse was convicted of domestic violence against the other spouse or a minor child. Payments can last up to seven years for marriages between twenty and thirty years, and ten years if the marriage lasted at least thirty years.

Texas Alimony Laws and Maximum Payments

Unlike some states, Texas alimony laws do not put an onerous burden on the spouse making spousal maintenance payments. The maximum allowable amount (as of this writing) is $5,000 per month or 20 percent of the payee’s income, whichever is less. Paying spouses can deduct their alimony payments from their income taxes, while spouses that receive spousal maintenance must claim the income on their tax returns.

Understanding Your Rights under Texas Alimony Laws

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