How Does a Judge Determine Alimony?

In Texas, family courts generally only award alimony, also known as spousal support, if the requesting spouse does not have enough assets or property to maintain a certain standard of living. To determine how much alimony should be awarded and the duration of the order, a judge will examine several factors. Continue reading to learn more about the process and how this important decision is rendered.

Determining Alimony in a Divorce

When determining if alimony is appropriate, there are certain circumstances that must apply.

If you are requesting alimony, one or more of the following should exist in your circumstances:

  • Your spouse was convicted of an act of family violence within two years of filing for divorce or while the divorce is in progress.
  • You cannot earn enough income to support yourself due to physical incapacitation or a mental disability.
  • You were married for at least ten years and you do not have the means to meet your basic needs.
  • You are the custodial parent of a child who has special needs, preventing you from maintaining gainful employment.

A judge will also examine the education and employment skills of both parties, the property and assets you both brought to the marriage, wasteful dissipation, and whether either spouse contributed to the other’s earning power throughout the marriage.

When determining the length of an alimony order, there are some limitations:

  • If your marriage lasted less than ten years and your spouse was convicted of family violence, alimony is limited to five years.
  • If you were married for more than ten years and less than twenty years, alimony is limited to five years.
  • If you were married for at least twenty years and less than thirty years, alimony is limited to seven years.
  • If you were married for thirty or more years, alimony is limited to ten years.

That said, there are some circumstances in which alimony may be terminated sooner. For example, if you are awarded alimony, and later get remarried or live with a new romantic partner, alimony will be terminated.

Discuss the Details of Your Alimony Case with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Getting a divorce is a difficult experience and, in many cases, alimony is essential for one to continue living comfortably. At Garza Law Firm, LLLP, our family law team will fight on your behalf and help ensure you receive the alimony award that is most fair for your situation, so you can begin this new chapter in your life with hope.

Reach out to our law office today at (214) 225-4344 to set up a consultation with a member of our team to discuss your case and learn more about your options.