In Texas, when one spouse in a divorce action is dependent on the other, a court may order temporary spousal support. Either spouse can request a temporary spousal support hearing when the divorce is filed. If granted, temporary spousal support will usually last until the divorce becomes final.

Establishing Spousal Support After Divorce Is Final

After the divorce is final, the party seeking spousal support can ask the court to grant spousal maintenance, which is also known as alimony. The amount of support granted cannot exceed $2,500 per month. In determining whether and to what extent to award spousal support after a divorce, a Texas court will consider all relevant factors, including:
The financial resources of the spouse seeking support

  • The education and marketable skills of the spouses, the ability to acquire new education or skills, and the time that it would take to acquire such skills
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age, health, and earning ability of the spouse seeking support
  • The ability of the supporting spouse to meet the needs of the spouse seeking support and make child support payments, if applicable
  • Acts of either spouse resulting in the unnecessary loss or expenditure of community property
  • The comparative financial resources of both spouses
  • The contribution of one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning ability of the other
  • The contribution as a homemaker of the spouse seeking support
  • Marital misconduct (adultery, abuse, etc.) of the spouse seeking support
  • The efforts of the spouse seeking maintenance to pursue available employment counseling

When Will Spousal Support End?

In the majority of cases, a Texas court may not order spousal support that continues more than three years from the date of the order. The courts assume that a spouse should be able to become financially independent in that amount of time if the initial support met his or her basic needs during that three-year period.

However, there are exceptions that allow for the extension of spousal support. If the spouse becomes disabled, spousal support in Texas can last for the duration of the disability. The court may also extend spousal support if there is some other compelling reason why the spouse could not become financially independent.

Should I Contact a Divorce Lawyer?

If you are considering divorce or are in the midst of a divorce, a divorce lawyer can help you with any spousal support questions. See the links below to contact an attorney in your area: