Alimony in Texas
Texas Courts will award alimony or spousal maintenance only under very specific circumstances. This includes a circumstance if a 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 (as defined by the Texas Family Code) committed during the marriage against the other spouse or the other spouse's child and the offense occurred within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed or while the suit is pending. Other circumstances supporting an award of spousal maintenance include a spouse seeking maintenance who is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs because of an incapacitating physical or mental disability, has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs, or is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs.
If a Court determines that you are eligible for alimony or spousal maintenance, the following factors are then considered in the award:
· Each spouse's ability to provide for that spouse's minimum reasonable needs independently, considering that spouse's financial resources on dissolution of the marriage
· The education and employment skills of the spouses, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income, and the availability and feasibility of that education or training
· The duration of the marriage
· The age, employment history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance
· The effect on each spouse's ability to provide for that spouse's minimum reasonable needs while providing periodic child support payments or maintenance, if applicable
· Acts by either spouse resulting in excessive or abnormal expenditures or destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of community property, joint tenancy, or other property held in common
· The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse
· The property brought to the marriage by either spouse
· The contribution of a spouse as homemaker
· Marital misconduct, including adultery and cruel treatment, by either spouse during the marriage
· Any history or pattern of family violence as defined by the Texas Family Code
If you and your spouse are willing, a properly written agreed decree of divorce and related orders may be drafted and presented to the Court. But, if you are unable to reach such an agreement, and are not receiving any cooperation from your spouse concerning alimony or spousal maintenance, you will need the experience of a family law attorney who has been involved in such contested cases to secure the alimony or spousal maintenance that a Court may find that you are entitled to receive.
Our firm has served the Dallas area for over 40 years, and attorney Jerry W. Melton is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We have the resources to answer all of your questions concerning alimony or spousal maintenance in your divorce and the qualifications to present a strong case for you. Please fill out our form online or call 972-980-8000 today to schedule a free consultation.