How Is Alimony Calculated in Texas?
If divorce appears to be looming on the horizon, you may be wondering how much you might be ordered to pay — or may be eligible to receive — in alimony. Unless you and your spouse come to an agreement before your case goes to trial, the issue will be decided by the divorce court. Knowing the rules regarding alimony under Texas law can give you the confidence you need to stick to your guns during negotiations.
What is alimony?
Alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is money paid by a former spouse to the ex-spouse, usually on a monthly basis. Alimony payments might be ordered for a set amount of time, or in some cases the payor may be ordered to make payments indefinitely. (Although alimony can be modified by a court in the future, or payments may be terminated due to the death, remarriage, or cohabitation of the recipient.)
Courts consider many factors
In Texas, there is no hard and fast rule for predicting whether alimony will be awarded in any given case. Instead, divorce judges consider multiple factors to decide whether alimony is appropriate, including:
- The age of the husband and wife
- Misconduct of either party which led to the breakdown of the marriage
- Each party's education
- Earning capacity of the husband and wife
- Anticipated post-divorce monthly expenses
- Whether either spouse is disabled
- Whether either spouse has a separate estate
- Size of the marital estate
If awarded, alimony is generally calculated to be the lesser of $5,000 or 20 percent of the paying spouse's monthly gross income. The length of time alimony continues is generally based on the length of the marriage, with few exceptions.
For instance, if the marriage lasted 10 to 20 years, alimony must be paid for 5 years. For marriages 20-30 years, alimony must be paid for 7 years. If a marriage was longer than 30 years, alimony must be paid for 10 years. In any case, as mentioned above, alimony terminates upon the death, remarriage or cohabitation with a romantic partner of the recipient.
To learn more about alimony and how Texas law applies to your circumstances, contact an experienced College Station, Texas divorce attorney at the Peterson Law Group. Our attorneys are committed to finding legal solutions for our clients. Call today to schedule a meeting at 979-703-7014 or fill out our online contact form.