3 Important Facts about Texas Alimony and Spousal Support

Important Facts about Texas Alimony and Spousal Support

Many individuals going through divorce are apprehensive about the idea of being required to pay a burdensome amount of money each month to their ex-spouse for alimony. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, our Houston divorce attorneys represent clients for alimony and spousal support matters throughout the greater Houston area. Contact us to secure experienced legal representation.

Key Facts about Texas Alimony and Spousal Support

Fact #1: Temporary Spousal Support is a Short-Term Financial Aid

Temporary Spousal Support specifically serves as a short-term financial solution during Texas divorce proceedings, immediately supporting a financially disadvantaged spouse.

Courts apply this support when a spouse cannot cover necessary living expenses independently during the divorce, thus addressing the financial needs that arise from transitioning to separate households.

Fact #2: Specific Circumstances Warrant the Award of Spousal Maintenance

The Texas Family Code legally defines Spousal Maintenance as a form of financial support post-divorce, distinct from temporary spousal support.

Courts award Spousal Maintenance in specific cases, such as when a spouse has a disability or cares for a special needs child. The law sets specific limits on the duration and enforceability of these awards.

Fact #3: Contractual Alimony Involves Voluntary Agreements

Contractual Alimony is a flexible, voluntary financial deal between divorcing spouses. It’s common in property settlements and more adaptable than court-ordered support.

Couples opt for this alimony to balance asset division, provide income, and gain tax benefits. It’s a strategic asset in divorce financial planning.

These facts simplify understanding Texas alimony and spousal support. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC offers thorough legal advice and representation, safeguarding your financial interests during and post-divorce.

Houston Spousal Support Attorneys

Important Facts about Texas Alimony and Spousal Support

You may have heard that there is no “alimony” in Texas. While it is true that there is no statutory or common law spousal payment called “alimony” in this state, there are three spousal payment types in Texas that are similar to the concept of alimony in other states:

  1. Temporary Spousal Support
  2. Spousal Maintenance
  3. Contractual Alimony

Temporary Spousal Support

Courts often order temporary spousal support as an equitable remedy after a temporary orders hearing. Its general purpose is to bridge the gap between the nonpaying spouse’s necessary monthly expenses and their available income sources.

In divorce, couples need to establish two households where there was only one before. Often, one spouse lacks the resources to support their new household. If a court finds that one spouse can’t meet necessary monthly expenses and the other has sufficient resources, it typically orders the more financially capable spouse to pay temporary spousal support while the divorce is pending.

Spousal Maintenance

The Texas legislature established spousal maintenance as a legal solution. Courts award it post-divorce under specific conditions. This support, detailed in Chapter 8 of the Texas Family Code, helps a spouse who can’t self-support due to a disability. It also aids a spouse caring for a special needs child who faces financial struggles.

Courts, under these limited circumstances, decide the duration of spousal maintenance payments, adhering to relevant statutes and using their discretion. The Texas Family Code enforces spousal maintenance payments under Chapter 8, which may include wage withholding orders from the paying spouse’s employer.

Contractual Alimony

A person going through divorce may agree to make regular payments to the other spouse as contractual alimony as part of the property settlement. This type of agreement is referred to as contractual alimony. While courts in Texas do not usually order a spouse to make spousal maintenance payments to the other, it is fairly common for a final agreement to include a contractual alimony provision. There are a variety of reasons entering into such an agreement, but one common one is to equalize the division of marital property while providing one spouse with a steady income stream and the paying spouse with a potential tax benefit.

Alimony under the Internal Revenue Code

Important Facts about Texas Alimony and Spousal Support

The term “alimony” also has a meaning for tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code. In general, payments considered alimony under the definition in the Internal Revenue Code are taxable as income to the person receiving the payments and tax deductible to the person making the payments.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the decisions made during a divorce can have long-lasting impacts. Being well-informed about your options for alimony and spousal support is a crucial step in securing a stable financial future post-divorce. We encourage anyone facing these challenges to reach out for professional legal assistance to navigate these complex waters with confidence and clarity.


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