In Texas, spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is money paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce. Spousal maintenance laws in Texas have undergone changes in recent years, so it is important to understand the current rules if you are considering divorce.
There are a few things to consider.
What are the eligibility requirements?
In order to receive spousal maintenance in Texas, there are several avenues to consider. In some cases, spouses qualify for maintenance payments as a result of a domestic violence history.
When the couple’s marriage lasts for more than 10 years and one spouse cannot support themselves, they can qualify for spousal maintenance as well. Spouses in the United States on a sponsorship may receive spousal maintenance as a means of enforcing an Affidavit of Support for immigration sponsorship.
Finally, the couple can come to an agreement between them about spousal maintenance without any other qualifying factor.
How is the amount and duration determined?
Texas caps spousal maintenance at the lesser of $5,000 per month or 20% of the paying spouse’s average monthly gross income. The duration of the support order depends on the length of the marriage. For marriages lasting less than 10 years, the maximum duration is 5 years. For couples married between 10 and 20 years, the maximum duration is 7 years. Any marriage lasting longer than 20 years has no restrictions.
While Texas spousal maintenance laws limit both amount and duration compared to some other states, it remains an important option for divorced spouses meeting the eligibility criteria.