Our blog post last week discussed why having someone on your side during a divorce who totally understands the spousal support laws in Texas is important. That post might have brought up some questions about what alimony is and how it works in Texas. For those who are considering divorce and those who are in the process of divorcing, these answers might help you to learn what you need to know about alimony.

What is alimony?

Alimony is also known as spousal support. A judge might order this if one spouse meets certain conditions that are set forth by Texas laws.

Who can get alimony in Texas?

Generally, the spouse who wants to receive alimony has to prove that they can’t meet the cost of their own minimum reasonable needs because of a variety of reasons, including inability to earn an income. Some spouses who were the victim of spousal abuse can also get alimony.

Is there a minimum time for marriage in alimony cases?

In most cases, the marriage must last for at least 10 years, according to the Family Law Code Chapter 8, Section 8.051(2)(B). The exception to this is if the person seeking alimony is caring for a child of the marriage who requires significant care or supervision that restricts the custodian from being able to work for income.

What does the court consider?

The court considers a variety of factors in alimony cases. The ability of both spouses to prove for themselves, the duration of the marriage, and a host of other factors are considered.

As we said last week, Texas alimony laws are complicated. Working with someone who understands these laws can help you to determine if you should seek alimony.

Source: State of Texas, “Family Code” Oct. 02, 2014