While parties can agree on contractual alimony (also referred to as "maintenance"), Court ordered alimony arises in only limited circumstances. To be considered for alimony, there must be a recent conviction or deferred adjudication result from a criminal family violence matter, or the marriage must have lasted over ten years. For situations where the marriage has lasted over 10 years, the Court may then award alimony in an amount necessary to meet the receiving spouse's "reasonable minimal needs." This alimony amount can last for up to three years, or in situations where the receiving spouse suffers from a disability, for as long as the disability remains.
While not alimony, Courts may also award temporary spousal support during the pendency of a divorce case. Courts will review this as part of its determination of temporary orders for the matter (see question #7). Courts generally award temporary spousal support to ensure that current bills are paid while the divorce proceeding is pending.