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Two Reasons Why The Texas Alimony Laws Are Unique

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Marriage is a partnership. During the course of a marriage, a couple’s finances inevitably become intertwined. In a divorce, marital assets must be divided in accordance with the Texas community property laws. In some cases, the financially disadvantaged spouse may also be entitled to receive alimony (support/maintenance) payments from their former partner.

Spousal support cases are handled under state law—and Texas has some of the most unique alimony laws in the entire country. At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., we want to make sure that you know your legal rights and legal responsibilities. Here, our Harris and Galveston County alimony attorneys explain why the Texas alimony laws are unique.

Two Key Reasons Why the Texas Spousal Support Laws are Different

  1. Texas has Unusually Strict Alimony Requirements 

Compared to most other states, Texas has unusually strict spousal support requirements. In effect, this means that courts have significantly less discretion when determining whether or not to award alimony to the financially disadvantaged partner. In Texas, a court can only award alimony if the recipient does not have sufficient money or property to provide for basic needs and one or more of the following fours factors is present:

  1. A recent history of spousal abuse or family violence;
  2. A disability or other incapacity on the part of the recipient spouse;
  3. The marriage lasted at least ten years and the recipient spouse is not currently in a position to earn adequate income; and/or
  4. The recipient spouse is a parent of a child with specialized care needs.

Further. under Texas law (Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 8.053), there is a “rebuttable presumption” that alimony is not warranted unless the recipient spouse can prove that they have exercised due care and reasonable diligence in an effort to become economically self-sufficient.  

  1. Spousal Maintenance is Capped (Lower Amount of $5,000 or 20 Percent of Income) 

Not only is alimony less likely to be awarded in Texas than many other states, but our state also has statutory caps on the amount of spousal support that can be awarded. If you are getting divorced in Galveston County, the most spousal support that a court can award is the lesser of:

  • $5,000 per month;
  • 20 percent of paying spouse’s average monthly gross income.

To be clear, this means that even in a high net-worth divorce case—where one party may earn deep into the six figures or seven figures in a year—no more than $5,000 may be awarded in ongoing spousal maintenance payments.

Call Our Spousal Support Lawyers Today

At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our family law attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to handle the full array of spousal support cases. If you have any questions about the Texas alimony laws, we are here to get you answers. Give us a call now or contact our firm online for your strictly private initial consultation. We provide divorce representation to clients throughout all of Harris and Galveston Counties.

Resource:

statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.8.htm

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