Texas Alimony or Spousal Support Guidelines
What are your chances of receiving or being ordered to pay alimony in Texas?
If you or your spouse has come to the conclusion that you are no longer compatible, be sure you understand the basic ground rules of getting a divorce in Texas regarding matters such as custody, child support, property division and alimony. You and your spouse may be able to reach an agreement as to who gets the house, the car, and the dog, but child custody and alimony are often the sticking points. In this article, we will talk about some alimony basics.
First, not every divorce results in an alimony award, often referred to as maintenance or spousal support. There is no hard and fast rule defining the circumstances where alimony will be awarded. Instead, a judge will consider a number of factors to decide whether alimony is appropriate.
Factors a Texas court will consider in awarding alimony:
- Age of the husband and wife;
- Education and earning potential of the husband and wife;
- Employability of both the husband and wife, including any disability;
- Size of the marital estate;
- Whether the husband or wife has a separate estate;
- Reasonable post-divorce monthly expenses of both spouses;
- Misconduct of either party contributing to the breakdown of the marriage.
How much and how long?
If awarded, alimony is calculated to be the lesser of $5,000 or 20 percent of the paying spouse's monthly gross income. Unlike other states, Texas limits the term of alimony based on the length of the marriage. Absent limited exceptions, if the marriage last 10 to 20 years, alimony must be paid for 5 years. For marriages 20-30 years, alimony will last for 7 years. If a marriage was longer than 30 years, alimony will be paid for 10 years. Alimony terminates sooner if the receiving spouse dies, remarries, or cohabitates with a romantic partner.
When it looks like divorce is looming on your horizon, consult with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible to explain your options and recommend the best course of action to achieve your desired outcome.
To talk with an experienced College Station, Texas divorce attorney, call the Peterson Law Group. Our attorneys have significant experience in family law, estate planning, and business law issues and we are committed to finding solutions for our clients. Let us use our experience to help you navigate the Texas legal system. Call us today to schedule a consultation at 979-703-7014 or fill out our online contact form.