It has long been rumored that Texas does not award alimony as a part of a divorce. This, however, is not exactly true.
Under Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code, a court can award Spousal Maintenance as a part of a divorce. Unlike some other states, spousal maintenance is not automatic (making it difficult to obtain) and the spouse making the claim for spousal maintenance must prove at least one of the following:
- The spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that also constitutes an act of family violence committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse’s child and the offense occurred; or
- The spouse seeking maintenance is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.
Once a claiming spouse can prove eligibility to receive spousal maintenance under the Family Code, the Court will then consider how much spousal maintenance will be awarded and for how long.
Under Section 8.055 of the Texas Family Code, a Court will award the lesser of $5,000.00 per month, or 20 percent of the spouse’s average monthly gross income. In most circumstances, if spousal maintenance is awarded, it generally lasts for no more than 10-years, unless a child of the marriage or the receiving spouse suffered a significant disability. Under normal circumstances, in marriages between 10-20 years, spousal maintenance can last for up-to 5-years, and in marriages between 20-30 years, spousal maintenance can last for up-to 7-years, and marriages which lasted over 30-years, spousal maintenance can last for up-to 10-years.
Proving eligibility for spousal maintenance in court can be difficult. That is, it is important to demonstrate not only your eligibility, but also your need in an admissible form. As such, it is important to consult with a qualified attorney to discuss this further. No matter if you live in Killeen, Temple, Copperas Cove, Lampasas, Fort Hood, or any of the surrounding areas, the attorneys at the Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC are familiar with the Family Code requirements and know how to position your case for success.
With strength and integrity, we stand ready to help you.