Texas doesn’t have court-ordered alimony the way the term is generally understood in other states like California. Both parties can make an agreement, either before marriage or in a divorce decree (so-called “contractual alimony”) but without an agreement, the closest thing we have is Temporary Spousal Maintenance. Generally, in order to qualify for spousal maintenance, you must have been married for at least ten years and can prove to the court that you “lack sufficient property…to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs” Tex. Fam. Code §8.051. It can also apply if you are the victim of domestic violence. How long you can get spousal maintenance depends on how long you were married, to a maximum of ten years. The amount of spousal maintenance is based on the paying spouse’s income and cannot exceed $5,000 per month 0r 20% of the paying spouse’s average monthly gross income. Whether or not spousal maintenance will be actually ordered, though, depends on which county and court your divorce is filed in. In some courts, it is fairly common; in others, it’s virtually unheard of.
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