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How long can you expect to pay or get spousal support in Texas?

Regardless of which end of the equation you find yourself on during your Texas divorce, you may have questions about whether you will have to pay, or, conversely, receive, alimony payments. Many divorcing Texans have questions about how long they may have to pay, or may be able to receive, what the state calls spousal maintenance and how the state arrives at the decided upon amount of the maintenance.

Per the Texas State Legislature, in order to receive alimony, one party in a marriage must be able to demonstrate an inability to provide for his or herself in the absence of it. Additionally, your situation must meet one of several different circumstances. In the first scenario, the spouse paying alimony has either a conviction or a deferred adjudication relating to domestic violence during the marriage or divorce process. In the second scenario, the party seeking support must be unable to support his or herself because of a disability or an obligation to a provide care for a child with a disability.

As for how much you can anticipate paying or receiving in spousal support, expect the court to award the lesser amount of either $5,000 per month or 20 percent of the paying party’s gross monthly income. When it comes to how long you can plan to have to pay, or be able to receive, such payments, this typically varies based on the length of your marriage, among other factors.

For example, you may pay or receive alimony for five years if the marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years, or up to seven years if your marriage lasted between 20 and 30 years. You may also be able to obtain alimony if your marriage lasted less than 10 years, but your spouse was abusive during your union.

This information about spousal maintenance in Texas is informative, but it is not a substitute for legal advice.