Texas Alimony and Spousal Support Laws
Texas courts may grant alimony during divorce proceedings when it is necessary to make the dissolution agreement equitable. The court will determine what is equitable on a case-by-case basis.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary – may be granted during the proceedings as needed.
- Short-Term – may be granted for a limited time to allow one party to adjust to changed circumstances.
- Long-Term or Permanent – may be granted if the court finds it is in the interests of justice, generally reserved for lengthy marriages.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Texas
Either party may be eligible for alimony in Texas. Generally, financial situation and duration of marriage are factors of significance in deciding which party will receive alimony.
Texas Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
A court will determine the nature, amount, duration, and manner of alimony payments by looking at relevant factors, including:
- Financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- Education and employment skills of the spouses;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Age, employment history, earning ability, and condition of the spouse seeking alimony;
- Ability of the spouse from whom alimony is requested to meet that spouse ’s personal needs and to provide child support payments, if applicable, while paying alimony;
- Acts by either spouse resulting in excessive or abnormal expenditures or destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community property, joint tenancy, or other property held in common;
- Comparative financial resources of the spouses, including medical, retirement, insurance, or other benefits, and the separate property of each spouse;
- Contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
- Property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
- Contribution of a spouse as homemaker; and
- Marital misconduct of the spouse seeking maintenance.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Texas
Death of either party and remarriage by a party receiving alimony are grounds for immediate termination of alimony payments. Other changes in circumstances may also warrant modification of your support agreement.
Marital Fault in Texas
A Texas court may look at the conduct of the parties during marriage. The court will consider marital misconduct of the spouse seeking alimony in determining alimony.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Texas?
Each support agreement is based on the needs and situations of the parties to the case. The Texas court will set out the length of any support payments in the support agreement. This term can be modified by future court order based on change of circumstances.
Texas Alimony Taxes
Support payments may be deducted from federal taxes by the paying party. The party who receives alimony payments is required to claim such payments as income. Discuss tax implications of your situation with a Texas family law attorney prior to any settlement.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Texas
A family law attorney will help you with judicial process of filing papers and advocate on your behalf in court. Because divorce is likely to impact your future, it is best to consult a Texas attorney at the outset.