Texas Divorce Law—Alimony and Other Info You Need
Alimony is also called spousal support or spousal maintenance. It is a payment that one spouse—who is financially independent—needs to make to their financially dependent spouse. If you’re filing for divorce in the Lone Star State, you’ll need to get familiar with Texas divorce law and alimony details.
DoNotPay will present all the information you need regarding divorce in Texas and the state’s alimony laws. We’ll also help you create your own marital settlement agreement where you’ll spell out all agreed-upon terms of your divorce. Subscribe to DoNotPay to create this important legal document effortlessly.
Three types of spousal support exist in Texas. You can find the detailed information in the table below:
|Type of Spousal Support||Description|
According to Texas law, every spousal maintenance case begins with the presumption that alimony isn’t appropriate. Only if the requesting spouse can prove that they’ve tried to find a job or acquire the education and training necessary for becoming financially independent, the court will move forward with a maintenance evaluation.
When deciding on the nature, amount, duration, and spousal support payment method, the court will take into account the following factors:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, earning ability, employment history, and emotional condition of the spouse requesting spousal support
- The ability of each spouse to support themselves financially
- Each spouse’s ability to meet their needs while providing child support
- Both spouses’ education and employment skills
- The time that the dependent spouse will need to acquire the necessary education, training, and skills to find employment and become financially independent
- One spouse's potential responsibility for wasting, concealing, or destroying community property
- Each spouse’s contribution to the other spouse’s education or training and earning power during the marriage
- Contributions that the homemaker spouse made
- Potential spousal behavior that led to the breakdown of the marriage (adultery, cruelty, etc.)
- Possible history of family violence
The court has some strict guidelines to follow when deciding on the duration of the spousal maintenance. According to Texas law, the court must order the shortest duration necessary for the dependent spouse to become self-supporting.
The conditions for establishing the duration of the spousal support are as follows:
- Five years, if the spouses:
- Were married for less than ten years and the supporting spouse was convicted of family violence
- Were married less than 20 but more than ten years
- Seven years, if the spouses were married for less than 30 but at least for 20 years
- Ten years, if the spouses were married for 30 years or longer
Spouses can determine the spousal support on their own. If you and your spouse can agree on everything, you can settle your case without involving a lawyer and attending court hearings, i.e., have an uncontested divorce.
If you decide to go down that road, you should create a divorce settlement agreement that outlines all other important aspects of your divorce—besides alimony—such as:
- Parenting plan and visitation schedule
- Allocation of assets (including who gets the house) and debts
- Child support
If you and your spouse can’t agree on all terms but still want a cheap and friendly divorce with an out-of-court divorce settlement, you should consider Texas divorce mediation. It is a process in which a trained professional helps you and your spouse find mutually acceptable solutions to your divorce issues.
To start a divorce in Texas, you’ll need to do the following:
- Collect and draw up all the necessary papers for an uncontested divorce (including a petition for divorce)
- Make copies of all divorce papers (a minimum of two because the original stays with the court, and you need to provide a copy for both you and your spouse)
- File your divorce forms with the appropriate court
- Serve the divorce papers to your spouse
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- Select the Divorce Settlement Agreement product
- Provide information about you, your spouse, the marriage, and similar
- Indicate how you want to divide your assets
- Specify whether you need an online notary to get your document notarized
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DoNotPay also has a myriad of guides to help you navigate your way through complicated divorce processes. We’ll provide all the details you might need, including:
- How to get an uncontested divorce in Texas with children
- Hot to get divorced online
- What constitutes a military divorce in Texas
- How to get a low-cost divorce
- Whether you can get divorced in Texas while pregnant
- How long a divorce in Texas can last
- Whether you need a lawyer if you and your partner agree on everything
- What the Texas divorce process timeline is
- How to get divorced in the following counties:
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