Texas Alimony Laws
Alimony Availability in Texas
Question: When is alimony available?
Answer: Alimony is available by court order for marriages ten or more years in length, and the requesting spouse is unable to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. Texas Family Code §8.051. Alimony may also be ordered for shorter marriages in a case where one spouse is convicted or accepts deferred adjudication for family violence during the pendency of the suit or within two years of the date the suit is filed. As a practical matter, the vast majority of alimony is paid as a matter of agreement between the parties.
Question: Can alimony be modified?
Answer: Alimony may be reduced by filing a Motion to Modify the Alimony, and seeking a court order if there is a material and substantial change in circumstances of the paying spouse. Texas Family Code §8.057.
Question: What stops alimony?
Answer: Alimony terminates on the death of either party, or the remarriage of the recipient of the payments. Additionally, a court may order the termination of alimony if the court finds that the recipient cohabits with someone with whom the recipient has a romantic relationship in a permanent place on a continuing basis. Texas Family Code §8.056.
Question: How does the IRS treat alimony?
Answer: Alimony is tax deductible for the paying spouse, and is treated as taxable income to the recipient. Usually, alimony should be paid for at least three years to maintain its deductibility.
Question: How much monthly alimony is available?
Answer: A court may order not alimony or post divorce maintenance in an amount exceeding $5000 per month, or more than 20% of the payor spouse’s average monthly gross income. Texas Family Code §8.054.
Question: How long can alimony be paid by statute?
Answer: A court may order alimony or post divorce maintenance to continue for: (1) 5 years if the parties were married less than 10 years and the maintenance is awarded on the basis of family violence; (2) 5 years if the parties were married more than 10 years, but less than 20 years; (3) 7 years if the parties were married more than 20 years, but less than 30 years; (4) 10 years if the parties were married for more than 30 years. Texas Family Code §8.054.