Spousal Support In Texas Has Limitations

Spousal Support Lawyer

In Texas, alimony (also called spousal support) is the financial support that one spouse pays the other after the divorce is final. Spousal support is not ordered in all situations, and it can be more challenging to obtain in Texas than in other states. Put simply, spousal support has limits in Texas and it is more rare than you would think. Learn more below, and speak to our spousal support lawyers in Arlington, Texas, for more information.

Spousal Support Payment Limits

The Texas Family Code states that the maximum amount of alimony the court can order is the lesser of 20% of the paying party’s gross monthly income or $5,000 per month. The Texas Family Code extensively details what is—and is not—a part of one’s gross monthly income for calculating spousal support. A Court is not required to order the maximum potential amount, and the two parties can agree to an amount on their own.

How Long Spousal Support Can Last

The duration for which the payor must pay spousal support is not unlimited and depends on how long was the marriage. The time limits on spousal maintenance or support are as follows:

  • Five years: The couple was married for at least 10 years but not more than 20 years. Or, the spouses were married for less than 10 years, but the payor has a family violence conviction in the two years before the divorce was filed (or while the divorce was pending).
  • Seven years: The couple was married for at least 20 years but not more than 30 years.
  • 10 years: The couple was married for 30 years or more.

State law requires the judge to limit alimony to the shortest, reasonable period that allows the receiving party to find a job or meet the education and training needs for employment. Also, the receiving spouse is not necessarily entitled to the statutory maximum amount; several non-exclusive factors will determine what the payment will be:

  • Any noneconomic contributions that were made to the marriage by the payor;
  • Child support that the payor pays or has paid;
  • What caused the marriage to break up; or
  • Domestic abuse that is non-criminal in nature.

How Spousal Support Is Modified And Terminated

After finalizing the divorce, a party who pays spousal maintenance can file a motion in court asking the judge to reduce the spousal support payments. However, you must continue to pay the ordered amount of support while the case is pending.

Also, the law says that court-ordered spousal support terminates if either party passes away or the spouse receiving alimony remarries. If the receiving party is living with someone else and they are in a relationship, the spouse paying alimony can return to the court and ask that support be terminated.

It is recommended to work with a spousal maintenance attorney to file a motion to reduce support if the parties’ respective economic circumstances have changed as the paying party. For instance, if the receiving party won the lottery, you could argue that your financial support is no longer needed.

Contact Our Spousal Support Lawyers in Arlington, Texas Today

Spousal support issues are frequently contentious in Texas divorces, and legal assistance is usually necessary for a favorable outcome. Please contact our spousal support lawyers in Arlington, Texas, at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson at (214) 273-2400 for help with your divorce case.