In Texas, a spouse can ask the court for spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony.
Spousal maintenance is more commonly asked for by a homemaker (housewife) or a disabled spouse. However, there are factors that must be considered. See below.
A spouse who receives the court order pay spousal support pays it directly to the receiving spouse. Also, the receiving spouse can ask the court to order the money to be paid by the paying spouse’s employer. This money (support amount) is tax deductible to the paying spouse and taxable to the receiving spouse. Whether the court grants your request for alimony depends on relevant factors.
- The time necessary for a spouse to receive education or training for earning sufficient income.
- The education and employment of both spouses.
- The financial resources that are available to each party after their marital estate is divided.
- The availability of training needed to earn sufficient income.
What are the ways a spouse can receive an award for spousal support?
- Agreement. one of the common ways is by agreement. In a divorce, the parties can agree that one spouse will receive spousal support from the other.
- Married for 10 years or more. The court may award spousal maintenance if the couple has been married for at least 10 years. If this is the case, then the following apply:
a. The party asking for spousal support must lack sufficient income for his reasonable needs.
b. The party asking must be a disable spouse or primary caretaker of a disabled child OR lacks earning ability to provide for his minimum reasonable needs.
- Family violence. This factor has no bearing on how long the couple has been married. If one spouse is convicted of family violence or deferred judgment against abused spouse within 2 years of filing the divorce, the abused spouse may ask for spousal maintenance.
- Sponsored immigrant. An immigrant whose spouse filed an Affidavit of Support can enforce the document. The Court can order the sponsoring spouse to provide the immigrant spousal support until she becomes a citizen of United States. In the alternative, sponsoring spouse may pay spousal support until immigrant earns 40 credits of work history.
For how long will I receive spousal maintenance?
- First, for a marriage of 10 to 19 years, spousal support may not exceed 5 years.
- Secondly, for a marriage of 20 to 29 years, spousal support may not exceed 7 years.
- Lastly, for a marriage of 30 years or more, spousal support may not exceed 10 years.
Do not substitute the information on this page for legal advice. Each family case is unique and different. One of our attorneys would love to sit with you, hear your story, and take away the stress from your case. Leave your contact information or give us a call (832) 529-1255.