When Is Alimony Awarded In Texas?

Alimony or spousal support in Texas is a complex topic. Learn more about when courts will award this type of support in a divorce.

Alimony, which is also called spousal support, is a payment from one spouse to another for living expenses after a divorce. In some states, it is fairly easy to get the court to award support. However, that is not the case for couples in Texas.

Who Qualifies For Alimony?

The Dallas Bar Association explains that getting alimony in Texas is difficult, especially after recent changes. The basic qualifying rule is that one spouse must not have sufficient financial means to support him or herself after the marriage ends. This includes anything received as part of the divorce settlement, which is partly why getting alimony can be so difficult. However, support may be easier to get if that spouse cannot support his or herself due to not having the ability to earn an income, having a disability or caring for the couple's child who has mental or physical disabilities and requires substantial care. It is important to know that the spouse seeking support must prove he or she has tried to secure a steady income during the course of the divorce and failed to do so.

Factors Used In Deciding Support

A couple will also have to provide information to the court to determine the amount of support paid. According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, the court looks at the whole marital situation and at the individual situations of each spouse after the marriage ends to make an alimony determination. Above all, the court makes sure to look at how well each spouse can support him or herself financially. Also, the court considers each person's educational backgrounds and work histories. For example, if one spouse worked to put another through college so that spouse could get a high paying job, then this will have an impact. How long the couple was married and if they have children are also factors the court considers.

The court will look at the property of the couple, both that which was obtained during the marriage and that which is considered separate property. Finally, each spouse's conduct during the marriage, including any domestic violence issues, will play into the court's decision process.

If you are going through a divorce and hope for an award of spousal support or want to prevent an award of support, then you should talk to an experienced attorney, such as those at The Law Offices of Jon R. Disrud. An attorney familiar with family law can help you navigate the complexities of alimony.