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Understanding Texas’ Alimony Laws
In the state of Texas, a dependent spouse may be entitled to spousal support or alimony after a divorce according to Texas Family Code Section 8.051. These obligations are based on need and can be permanent or temporary.
Factors that may affect support obligations include:
- The Duration of Marriage
- Earning Capacity of Both Spouses
- Standard of Living
- Whether or Not There Was Domestic Violence
The laws related to spousal support are always changing so it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can evaluate your personal circumstances. Our attorneys at the Law Office of J Kevin Clark P.C. are prepared to review your case and secure your financial future.
Contact us today for more information regarding Texas alimony/spousal support.
Who is Eligible for Alimony?
At times throughout a relationship one individual could be the primary caregiver of a family and upon a legal divorce the spouse that was not the primary caregiver needs assistance until they have a satisfactory earning potential. Additionally, there is also a reparational aspect of supporting a spouse if they were a victim of family/domestic violence in the home during the marriage.
The primary eligibility requirement for spousal support is that the requesting spouse does not have the minimum needs to provide for themselves following a divorce as well as 1 of the following 2 conditions:
- Domestic/Family Violence - took place either during the divorce process or during the marriage, but the abuse must have taken place within 2 years of filing for divorce.
- Insufficient Income - from a marriage lasting more than 10 years, due to the mental/physical disabilities of the spouse, and/or being the primary caregiver of their child who has mental/physical disabilities requiring extraordinary care.
Following proof that at least one of these conditions exist the court can then proceed in determining the amount of alimony a spouse is entitled to based on the conditions and financial circumstance of each party.
How is Alimony Determined?
Unlike Child Support, Spousal Support does not have a standing amount of payment in the State of Texas. However, if the spouse seeking support is indeed without means to support themselves the court will hear the case and a judge will make a fair ruling based on the factors of the marriage (length of marriage, standard of living, family income, etc).
The standard guidelines of alimony include, but are not limited to:
- Up to $5k Per Month
- Paying up to 20% of the Spouse’s Monthly Income
It is important to note that alimony is taxable and while alimony is determined by the courts it does have guidelines on how long those decisions last. It is important to be aware of all your options so you are better protected from being taken advantage of.
Spousal Support Duration
Alimony is typically not indefinite and is also modifiable depending on various changes in the divorcing couples' separate situations - changes in income, changes in personal health, changes in their child’s health, all determine the length of required support.
General Alimony duration guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- 5 Years of Alimony - The marriage lasted less than 10 years, but the paying spouse has been proven abusive or the marriage lasted between 10 to 20 years.
- 7 Years of Alimony - The marriage lasted between 20 to 30 years.
- 10 Years of Alimony - The marriage lasted more than 30 years.
- Indefinite Alimony - If the petitioning spouse is mentally/physically disabled or if their child is mentally/physically which puts a strain on the petitioning spouse to earn adequate income.
Regardless if you are seeking or being petitioned for alimony it is important that you hire an experienced legal team to guide you through the proceedings. Alimony can be an emotional and financially taxing endeavor that could determine your future. We proudly serve families throughout Tarrant County, Johnson County, Parker County, Wise County or anywhere else in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Contact us today to begin protecting your financial future.
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Serving clients in Ft. Worth, throughout Tarrant County, and greater Texas.
Close, interactive, communication ensures alignment with a clients' most important goals.
Prompt access to your lawyer from day one addressing your concerns and beyond.
Skilled representation across a wide spectrum of divorce and family law matters.
Voted as a "Top Attorney" in Ft Worth Tx: The City's Magazine - by his peers.
Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1987.