What are the factors that determine alimony?

By Sullivan, Klocke & Williamson, P.C. on March 9, 2020 • Firm News

If you and your spouse decide to file for divorce in Texas, the terms of your settlement may include alimony. Every state has different rules for calculating and awarding alimony. In Texas, you and your spouse may negotiate alimony terms between yourselves. However, if you want a court to set the terms of an alimony arrangement, your situation must meet certain requirements.

FindLaw indicates that under Texas law, you must meet eligibility requirements in order to petition for alimony. The first part of the process requires you to prove that your post-divorce circumstances mean you cannot support your “minimum reasonable needs.” If you are able to show that you need some type of spousal support in order to maintain a reasonable lifestyle, then you may move on to the next set of qualifying conditions.

There are several circumstances, relating to either you or your spouse, that may qualify you to receive alimony. For example, if you are unable to make enough money to support yourself due to a mental or physical disability, you may get alimony. You may also qualify if you cannot work because you provide care for a child with physical or mental disabilities, or your marriage lasted longer than a decade.

A court may order your spouse to pay alimony if he or she has a conviction for family violence within certain time frames. For example, if your spouse got convicted of violence within the two years before you filed for divorce or during the divorce proceedings, a court may order him or her to pay alimony. State law places restrictions on the amount and duration of any court-ordered alimony based on the divorce circumstances and the length of the marriage.

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