Texas Alimony 101: Understanding the Different Types of Spousal Support

In Texas, alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is awarded in limited circumstances and is not as common as in some other states. When determining spousal maintenance, the court considers various factors, including the duration of the marriage, the ability of the spouse seeking maintenance to provide for their minimum reasonable needs, and any acts of domestic violence during the marriage. Here are the types of spousal maintenance recognized in Texas:

1. Temporary Spousal Maintenance

Temporary spousal maintenance is awarded during the pendency of the divorce or separation proceedings. Its purpose is to provide financial support to the requesting spouse until a final determination on spousal maintenance is made. The court may order temporary maintenance if the requesting spouse demonstrates a need for financial support and the ability of the other spouse to provide it.

2. Spousal Maintenance for Limited Duration

Spousal maintenance for a limited duration may be awarded when the spouse seeking maintenance has been married for at least 10 years and can demonstrate that they lack sufficient property or resources to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. The duration of spousal maintenance for a limited duration is generally not more than five years.

3. Spousal Maintenance for an Indefinite Period

Spousal maintenance for an indefinite period may be awarded if the requesting spouse can demonstrate that they have an incapacitating physical or mental disability that prevents them from earning a sufficient income or that they are the custodian of a child with a physical or mental disability that requires significant care. In such cases, the spousal maintenance order may continue as long as the disability continues or the child requires substantial care.

It’s important to note that spousal maintenance in Texas is generally limited in amount and duration. The court has discretion in determining the specific amount and duration of spousal maintenance based on the circumstances of the case. Additionally, the eligibility for spousal maintenance is subject to specific criteria outlined in the Texas Family Code. It is advisable to consult with a family law attorney to understand the specific guidelines and considerations relevant to your situation in Texas.