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Alimony comes to Texas!

Posted by attorney Charles Hardy
Filed under: Alimony

Alimony comes to Texas! (Or, Remember the Alimony!)

Texas now provides for alimony in divorce cases.

There are limitations, but our laws now provide for potential lifetime alimony!

Here are the rules:

Criminal offense alimony: A spouse may be entitled to alimony if:

(1) 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 under Title 4 AND the offense occurred:

(A) within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed; OR

(B) while the suit is pending.

10-year alimony: A spouse may be entitled to alimony if:

(1) the marriage lasted 10 years or longer,

(2) the spouse seeking maintenance lacks earning power AND has insufficient property to provide for the spouse's "minimum reasonable needs", AND the spouse seeking maintenance:

(A) is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability; OR

(B) is the custodian of a child who requires substantial care and personal supervision because a physical or mental disability makes it necessary, taking into consideration the needs of the child, that the spouse not be employed outside the home; OR

(C) clearly lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to provide support for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs.

Limitations: Court Ordered Alimony is generally limited to not more than 3 years.

Life-time Alimony:

If a spouse seeking maintenance is unable to support his or her self through appropriate employment because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability, the court may order maintenance for an indefinite period for as long as the disability continues.

Modification: An alimony award can be reduced by court order by the filing of a Motion to Modify. (Note: It can ONLY go down, not up.)

Note: Texas statutes refer to "alimony" as "spousal maintenance".

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