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How Will I Know How Much I Need to Pay in Alimony? 

Posted on in Divorce

Tarrant County Spousal Support LawyerAlimony is a complex subject in any divorce. Few spouses want to pay it, and few spouses who receive it feel as though they are getting enough. When neither side is likely to be satisfied with the outcome of a particular issue in a divorce, it is especially important to understand the law so you know your options and have some idea of what to expect. In this blog, we will give a brief overview of the basics of alimony in Texas; keep in mind that this is not legal advice and that the best source for answers to your questions is an experienced Hurst divorce attorney. 

First Things First: What is Alimony? 

Alimony in Texas is technically known as “spousal maintenance.” The “obligee” is the person who receives spousal maintenance, and the “obligor” is the person who pays it. Spousal maintenance is money given from the obligor to the obligee after a divorce to give the obligee time to become financially self-sustaining after a marriage ends. Alimony is most common in marriages in which one spouse forfeited their career or educational potential to care for children or support their spouse’s career. Spousal support payments today tend not to last as long nor be as large as they have in the past. 

Does the Wife Always Get Alimony in Texas? 

No. In fact, while either spouse can request spousal maintenance, payments are not automatically given to anyone and certain conditions must be met before a judge will order spousal maintenance. These are: 

  • The spouse requesting spousal maintenance needs money to be able to make ends meet. If she cannot earn her own living or does not have enough in personal assets to care for herself, then one of the following conditions must also apply: 

  • The obligor was convicted of domestic violence against the obligee or their children in the last two years

  • The obligee has a mental or physical disability that impedes her from becoming self-sufficient

  • The obligee cannot become self-sufficient because a child with a disability requires care 

  • The marriage lasted at least ten years and the obligee was sufficiently dependent on the obligor that now it is difficult or impossible to find a job

How Much Are Alimony Payments? 

Texas has strict limits regarding how much spousal maintenance an obligor may be required to pay. While the exact spousal maintenance amount will depend on many factors, it cannot be more than 20 percent of the obligor’s monthly income or $5,000–whichever is less. Other factors that can influence the amount of spousal maintenance payments include:

  • How long the couple was married

  • Whether either spouse cheated

  • Whether child support payments are involved and how they affect the obligor’s ability to meet his own needs

  • The ability of each spouse to support themselves 

  • Whether domestic violence existed in the marriage

Call a Tarrant County Alimony Lawyer

When you get divorced, you need some level of predictability so you can begin planning for the future. At Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C., we strive to make your divorce straightforward and sensible by finding answers to your legal questions quickly and comprehensively. Call our reliable Hurst, TX alimony attorneys today at 817-498-4105 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 



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