Alimony, or spousal maintenance as it is called in Texas, has many limitations. The idea of alimony is to provide a former spouse with periodic payments since during the marriage one spouse may have been the main financial provider of the family. In Texas, alimony is only awarded in limited circumstances.

For spouses that have dedicated their years to being a stay at home parent or home caretaker, a divorce can be especially difficult if they have been out of the work force or cannot receive the same salary as their previous lifestyle provided. Especially if children are involved, a Houston divorce lawyer will help advise you of your legal options, including issues of alimony. Alimony in Texas is only awarded in two limited scenarios and is not a guarantee still.

When Alimony Is Awarded

The two circumstances that would qualify to have a judge order maintenance in a divorce would include if a spouse is convicted of family violence or if the marriage was ten years or longer. If family violence is accused, the date of the petition for divorce must have occurred within two years. Only if these circumstances exist will there be consideration of alimony and the spouse seeking the alimony must show that he/she does not have sufficient resources to live within reasonable parameters.

If there are children and any one of them has a disability preventing a spouse from being employed due to the constant care required alimony can be sought. A spouse that shows an inability to earn a living that is considered below an adequate level can also try to receive alimony payments. Even if a judge orders alimony, there are still limitations to what a person can receive and the timeframe they will receive payments for.

Alimony payments cannot exceed three years in Texas unless the ex spouse has physical or mental disabilities that does not allow him/her to be self-supporting. The most a judge can order for alimony is either $2500.00 a month or 20 percent of the paying spouse's average monthly gross income, depending on which is the lesser amount. Texas alimony statutes pose many challenges to overcome. A Houston divorce lawyer is important in trying to obtain alimony because of the necessity to prove the limited scenarios in a narrowly focused aspect of divorce law.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Houston

Texas alimony has not been available until recent years. Going into effect in 1995, court-ordered maintenance is still a difficult facet of divorce law that a Houston divorce lawyer can help achieve. Please contact us for more information on alimony and to confer with a divorce attorney in Houston.

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