Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is a common concern among divorcing couples in Texas. This is a form of court-ordered maintenance that one spouse pays to the other after a divorce. However, the specifics of alimony laws in Texas can be overwhelming, and the process can be incredibly challenging without proper guidance.
Alimony is an essential legal right for some spouses who, due to the circumstances in the marriage, have insufficient resources post-divorce. It involves one spouse providing financial support to the other after the termination of the marriage. The amount and duration of alimony payments depend on many factors, according to the guidelines outlined in section 8.052 in the Texas Family Code:
- each spouse's ability to provide for that spouse's minimum reasonable needs independently
- the education and employment skills of the spouses
- the duration of the marriage
- the age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance
- each spouse's ability to provide periodic child support payments
- any acts by either spouse affecting the property or abnormal spending
- the contribution of each spouse to each other in regard to education, training, or earning power
- property each spouse brought to the marriage
- contribution as a homemaker of the spouse
- any marital misconduct
- history of domestic violence
It is essential to consult with an experienced divorce attorney for guidance and support when seeking alimony in Texas.
Types of Alimony in Texas
In Texas, there are three main alimony types: temporary support, contractual maintenance, and court-ordered spousal. Temporary alimony is granted during the divorce litigation and is meant to address the financial needs of the recipient spouse during the process. Contractual alimony is an agreement between the divorcing parties to make fixed payments for an agreed period. This is entered as a contract or a judgment. Spousal maintenance is intended to support a recipient spouse for the amount and duration determined by the court. It can be entered with wage withholding.
Factors Considered When Determining Eligibility
Most alimony cases in Texas involve determining the amount and duration of spousal support payments as well as the eligibility for maintenance in accordance with section 8.051 of the Texas Family Code. When fixing the alimony, the court will award alimony if the spouse seeking maintenance lacks sufficient property for their minimum reasonable needs.
Modifying Alimony Payments in Texas
According to section 8.054, spousal maintenance cannot exceed more than 5 years if married for 10-20 years, 7 years if married for 20-30 years, or 10 years if married for 30 or more. However, these are maximum times, as the court will aim to have the minimum amount of spousal maintenance ordered to avoid overpayments or inequality. This includes a maximum amount of $5,000 of support per month.
Family Law Firm in Houston
If you're going through a divorce and need guidance on navigating alimony or require legal assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to Myres & Associates, a trusted family law firm in Houston, TX. We're here to help you navigate this challenging time with expertise and compassion. Contact us today at (713) 322-9810 to get started.