Following a divorce, one spouse may be required by the court to pay alimony
to the other spouse. This is oftentimes done when one spouse will be unable
to provide for their basic needs as a result of the divorce. Unlike in
other states, the court in Texas generally assumes that spousal maintenance
is not necessary unless evidence is provided to the contrary.
What can I expect from an alimony determination?
Once enough evidence has been provided to show that the order for alimony,
the court will determine both the amount of the spousal support and the
length of time that the support needs to be paid to a former spouse.
Some of the factors that can be used to calculate alimony include:
- Financial resources and ability to provide for basic needs
- History or pattern of abuse
- Education and employment skills
- Adultery or cruel treatment
- Length of the marriage
- Status as a homemaker
- Separate property brought into the marriage
- Payment of child support
- Contributions of one spouse to the earnings of the other
- Spending of community and joint property
The court will use this information to order a payment amount and length.
Payments cannot be more than $5,000 or 20% of the payer's monthly
income, whichever is less. If the payment is contingent on the physical
or mental disability of a spouse or child, the alimony must continue as
long as the condition exists. All other alimony payments are time-limited.
The longest that alimony payments can continue is 10 years, so long as
the receiving spouse does not die, remarry, or live with someone in a