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Can I qualify for permanent alimony?

Alimony laws in Texas and elsewhere can be complicated and emotional. Many people believe the concept of spousal support to be outdated and unfair to the paying party. On the other hand, those who did not work during the marriage or earn significantly less than their ex-spouse may need to receive spousal support until they become self-sufficient. You may wonder how long you are entitled to alimony, as well as whether you can receive it indefinitely.

According to FindLaw, the length of time you receive spousal support mainly depends on how long you were married. You may be eligible for alimony for up to five years if your marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years. You could receive spousal support up to 10 years if you were married longer than 30 years. Qualifying for payments indefinitely is another matter, however. You would need to show that a disability or having to care for a disabled dependent child renders you unable to support yourself.

If you remarry or the basis for permanent alimony changes – such as recovering from a temporary disability – your spousal support options are likely to change. You may stop receiving support, or the court may set a time limit for the payments to end.

There is no easy solution to the dilemma of supporting yourself after a divorce if you were the lesser-earning spouse during your marriage. Alimony is meant to give those who qualify time to update their education or job skills. Therefore, permanent alimony is much less common. Since each situation is different, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.