Alimony in Texas

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Divorce on Thursday, January 19, 2012.

Alimony is one of the most misunderstood elements of Texas divorce law. Under the Texas Family Code, alimony is generally only available in marriages that are at least a decade long and a spouse seeking alimony must be generally unemployable due to lack of job skills, disability, or the need to care for a disabled child. Additionally, a finding must be made that there are inadequate martial assets that could provide the minimum financial support for the spouse requesting alimony.

An experienced Texas divorce attorney can help spouses seeking alimony obtain the compensation that they are entitled to. Obtaining alimony may become increasing difficult for people across the country as many states are beginning to revise their alimony laws. In Texas, the amount of alimony is generally limited to a three year period, but other states allow for more easily extended alimony arrangements which some say are unfair.

It should be noted that even though Texas alimony laws are not as wide ranging as those of other states, parties can agree to enter into contractual alimony agreements. Possible features of an alimony agreement can include cash agreements in lieu of a spouse seeking a share of stocks which are jointly held. This may be a desirable arrangement when a spouse needs quick cash or is uncertain about the future value of the stock.

There are also some tax implications which may make an alimony contract beneficial for both the payer and the recipient of the alimony, but you should consult an experienced CPA or tax advisor to fully understand the tax implications of an alimony agreement.

Source: Forbes, “Alimony Reforms Continue to Create More Uncertainty for Divorcing Women,” Jeff Landers, Jan. 18, 2012

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