Alimony (spousal maintenance) is ordered in Texas as a temporary measure to enable a spouse to complete the education or training necessary to provide for their own financial needs.
In order for a court to consider whether alimony is warranted, the Judge considers many factors, including the following:
- Each spouse’s ability to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs considering their own financial resources upon divorce.
- The education and employment skills of the spouses, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to earn sufficient income and the availability and feasibility of the education or training.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking alimony.
- The contribution by one spouse to the education, training or increased earning power of the other spouse.
- The contributions of a spouse as a homemaker.
- Marital misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment, by either spouse during the marriage.
- Any history or pattern of family violence.
Texas is one of the most difficult states in which to be awarded alimony. It is presumed that alimony is not warranted unless the person seeking alimony has exercised due diligence in earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs or developing the skills necessary to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs during a period of separation and during the time the divorce is pending. The amount of alimony paid is based on the length of the marriage and the income of the spouse paying alimony. There are exceptions made for those who have been the victims of family violence, the disabled, as well as a spouse who has been taking care of a disabled child of the marriage.