The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of the individual case. While many states have recently undergone changes to their alimony laws, others are still in the midst of heated debates. Texas alimony laws underwent changes in the last few years. Those changes will now determine if and how long someone receives spousal support.
When awarding spousal support, the family court judge will consider the following:
-- How long the couple was married
-- The emotional and physical condition of the spouse asking for support
-- The earning ability, employment history and age of the spouse asking for support
-- Whether the spouse paying support is also paying child support
-- Whether the spouse seeking support contributed to the marriage as a homemaker
-- Whether there was cruel treatment or adultery by either spouse during the marriage
-- Whether there was a pattern or history of family violence
When it comes to how long a person can be ordered to pay alimony, there are various considerations. For example, there are different durations listed for spousal support depending on how long the marriage lasted. However, the court will also take into consideration how long it will take the spouse receiving support to earn enough to provide for his or her minimum needs.
As you can see, there are many considerations for when or if alimony or spousal support is ordered by the court. The court, however, can accept an agreement between the soon-to-be ex-spouses regarding spousal support. An experienced Texas divorce attorney can help preserve your rights and assets during a divorce, including the right to seek spousal support.
Source: Family Code, "Chapter 8. Maintenance" Nov. 25, 2014