Alimony & Spousal Maintenance
Many people who are going through a divorce are worried about how their finances will be affected going forward. In Texas, spousal maintenance is designed to help someone have the financial resources they need to transition from marriage to their post-divorce life without severely impacting their quality of life.
Spousal support is more commonly referred to as alimony, but the Texas Family Code actually refers to spousal support as “maintenance.” The term maintenance is defined under Texas Family Code § 8.001(1) as “an award in a suit for dissolution of a marriage of periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the support of the other spouse.” If alimony is being considered in your divorce, it is highly recommended that you have an astute legal counsel with experience in this area. The attorneys at Mokolo Law Firm can help guide you and protect your interest.
Duration of Spousal Maintenance / Alimony Awards in Texas
Texas Family Code § 8.054(1) establishes that a court cannot order maintenance that remains in effect for more than:
- Five years after the date of the order, if the spouses were married to each other for less than 10 years and the eligibility of the spouse for whom maintenance is ordered is established under Texas Family Code § 8.051(1) or the spouses were married to each other for at least 10 years but not more than 20 years;
- Seven years after the date of the order, if the spouses were married to each other for at least 20 years but not more than 30 years; or
- 10 years after the date of the order, if the spouses were married to each other for 30 years or more.
Under Texas Family Code § 8.054(2), the court must limit the duration of a maintenance order to the shortest reasonable period that allows the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs, unless the ability of the spouse to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs is substantially or totally diminished because of:
- Physical or mental disability of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- Duties as the custodian of an infant or young child of the marriage; or
- Another compelling impediment to earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.
Contact Mokolo Law Firm at 713-784-2906 to schedule a consultation with one of our divorce attorneys.