PLEASE NOTE: We are still open and operational! To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options. click here for Covid 19 updates
Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Alimony, maintenance, support: Word changes reveal shifting norms

Not too long ago, when people in Houston and the rest of Texas talked about alimony, everyone pretty much understood what was being talked about. Alimony was that amount of money that ex-husbands paid to their ex-wives as part of a divorce settlement. At the time, divorce was fault based, women weren't in the workforce supporting themselves and the presumption was that ex-wives were owed the support of their ex-husbands for the rest of their lives.

Times have changed. Conditions have changed. Women don't make as much as men, dollar for dollar, but there are more of them able to make it on their own. That makes the traditional concept of alimony obsolete in many ways. But some situations still make some measure of adequate support necessary. For example, if the couple had children and one of the parents was a stay-at-home caregiver, support may be called for.

Community property laws being what they are in Texas, spouses are expected to divide their assets equally in the event of a divorce - leaving each on equal footing. Ideally, no support would be needed, but if the stay-at-home parent has been out of the workforce for an extended amount of time, some occupational training might be required.

Coming up with terms for how that will be met doesn't have to be left up to the courts in a divorce. Couples can craft their own contractual alimony agreements to suit their particular needs; how much and for how long payments are made can be established through negotiation with the help of skilled legal counsel.

Coming up with an agreement in which support is a factor may well require providing the paying spouse with a greater share of the available assets to balance the scales. And if for some reason the contract is violated, the matter might need to be brought back to court for resolution.

Source:, "Current Trends in Alimony Law: Where Are We Now?," accessed June 6, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Board Certified
  • IAFL
  • Super Lawyers 2019
  • Best Lawyers
  • Avvo Rating
  • Avvo Rating
  • Avvo Client Choice 2014
  • Avvo Client Choice 2014
  • Best Law Firms Badge
  • Laura Dale
  • Texas Bar Today Top Ten Badge

Contact Our Experienced Team Today

Se Habla Español | Nous Parlons Français

Due to the experience our lawyers have in many specialized areas, you can rely on us to put together the right team to handle your case, even if it centers on complex issues such as international family law, business valuation or bankruptcy. Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your needs with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
email us for a response

1800 Saint James Place
Suite 620
Houston, TX 77056

Phone: 713-574-7952
Fax: 713-600-1718
Houston Law Office Map

Review Us