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Myths about Texas alimony, along with new changes

One of the most prevalent myths about alimony in Texas is that it does not even exist at all. The reality of the situation, though, is that people can absolutely seek alimony if they want. It just may be harder for them to get it in Texas than it would be elsewhere.

For this reason, it is very important to understand all of the myths surrounding this, as well as any changes that have come recently.

To learn about alimony, one only has to look as far as the Texas Family Code, turning to Chapter 8. This is where support paid from one spouse to the other after a divorce is addressed, though the official term for it is “maintenance,” rather than alimony.

One huge myth is that alimony payments never end. People fear that a ruling by a judge instructing them to pay means that they will never be done making those payments. However, the truth is that the court is going to cap everything when that ruling is made, from how much has to be paid to how long it has to be paid for.

New changes have altered this cap, though. It used to be very simple, with the time period set right at three years. Now, it is more complex and tailored to each case, basing the duration of the payments on the duration of the marriage.

For instance, if a couple was together for a decade, the maximum duration for alimony is five years. This is true all the way up to 20 years of marriage. If the couple was married for two decades — or all the way to 30 years — the duration for alimony moves to seven years.

Source:  Dallas Bar Association, “Alimony in Texas: Myths and Changes” Jana Wickham Paul and Holly Eckert, Aug. 08, 2014

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