When deciding whether to order an award of spousal support, also known as alimony, in the state of Texas, the family court will examine a number of factors, such as if domestic violence has occurred within 2 years before filing, the parties’ financial conditions, their family situations, and the length of the marriage.
To learn more read the Texas Family Code Chapter 8 on Maintenance.
Texas law provides that one of the several factors the courts should consider when ordering an alimony award is whether the parties have been married at least ten years, and whether without spousal support, the party seeking it will not otherwise be able to earn an income or have sufficient property to provide for the person’s minimum reasonable needs.
Generally, the length of the marriage impacts the duration of spousal support payments. In most cases, if the parties were not married more than ten years, spousal support payments will not be ordered for a term of longer than five years. If the parties were married for at least twenty years, spousal support may be ordered for up to seven years. If the parties were married more than thirty years, spousal support payments will typically cease after a maximum of ten years.
Of course, these factors are considered with a multitude of other elements, and each case will be decided differently. The duration of the marriage, however, is carefully considered.
Texas also imposes a limit on the amount of maintenance – usually around 20% of the spouse’s average monthly gross income.
At mediation, parties can vary from the Texas Family Code regarding the duration and amount of spousal maintenance aka spousal support.