Alimony in Texas

Yes, Texas has a law providing for post-divorce alimony. In Texas it is called maintenance.  Don’t confuse post-divorce alimony or maintenance with pre-trial support. A family judge can order a spouse to support another spouse during the pre-trial phase of a case.  But, this article is about alimony that comes after a divorce.

The court may order alimony for a spouse if the spouse seeking post-divorce alimony will lack sufficient property, including the spouse’s separate property, on dissolution of the marriage to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs AND:

            the spouse from whom the other spouse is seeking alimony has been convicted of or given deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that also constitutes an act of family violence within two years of the filing date for the divorce or while the suit is pending, OR

            the spouse seeking alimony cannot meet his or her own needs due to an incapacitating mental or physical condition, OR

            has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs, OR

            is caring for a disabled child of the marriage and that said care prevents the caretaker spouse from earning enough income to provide for his or her own minimum reasonable needs. 

In setting the  amount and duration of alimony the court will consider many factors, include the length of the marriage, the resources and educational level of each spouse and the conduct of either spouse during the marriage. 

Alimony ordered under Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code is enforceable, just like child support, save and except confinement for non-payment of child support.   The court can order that a withholding order be sent to the obligor’s employer to collect and forward the alimony to the receiving spouse.  This applies only if the alimony is ordered under Chapter 8 of the Code. 

Agreed-to alimony, not awarded under the family code is allowed but is not as enforceable as that ordered under Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code. 

The court retains jurisdiction to  reduce or terminate alimony previously ordered. 

If you are facing a divorce make sure you discuss alimony with an experienced divorce lawyer. Call us at 915-593-6600 or 915-256-0579