Spousal Support and Maintenance (Alimony) Under Texas Family Law

spousal support during and after divorce

Spousal support is a concern during the divorce process and after the divorce is final

Read about changes made by the Texas Legislature in 2011 to the Texas Family Law governing spousal support and maintenance (alimony) – Blog Update

Texas Family Law provides for two kinds of spousal support (or alimony) in connection with divorce in Texas.

The first is spousal support received while your divorce case is ongoing.

The second is the spousal support received after your divorce is final.

Texas Family Law views all income of both parties as community income until the point in time when a divorce is granted by the court. Consequently, the family law court has the power to order one spouse to pay part of their salary to the other spouse while the case is going on so that the bills of both parties get paid, and each one has enough money to live during the process.

Spousal support paid by one party to the other is called “Maintenance” in Texas Family Law. Other states call it “Alimony.” There are strict guidelines for the payment of alimony in Texas.

Quick Summary of Eligibility, Duration and Amount of Spousal Support and Maintenance

Eligibility for Spousal Support

Spousal support can be ordered only if the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property (including separate property) to provide for minimum reasonable needs AND:

  1. Family violence occurred within two year before suit filed or while suit is pending; OR
  2. One of the following applies to spouse seeking maintenance:
    a. Inability to earn sufficient income to provide for minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability; OR
    b.  10 years of marriage and spouse lacks ability to earn sufficient income to provide for reasonable minimum needs; OR
    c. Spouse is custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and supervision because a physical or mental disability prevents spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for minimum reasonable needs.

Duration of Spousal Support (Except Disability Situations)

Duration of Marriage:  Maximum Duration of Maintenance

Under 10 years (family violence):  5 years maintenance
10 to 20 years:  5 years maintenance
20 to 30 years:  7 years maintenance
30+ years:  10 years maintenance

Amount of Spousal Support

Cannot exceed lesser of $5,000 or 20% of average monthly gross income

Contact Chris Spofford to learn about your options—and your rights—under Texas Family Law in the area of spousal support or alimony.

Chris A. Spofford has represented many married persons—both women and men—through the difficult process of establishing appropriate spousal support. With more than 30 years, Chris will guide you with insight and knowledge and defend your rights aggressively.