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How is spousal support determined in Texas?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Family law

Spousal support, often called alimony, is a financial arrangement that may come into play during a divorce.

In Texas, the determination of spousal support follows specific guidelines that consider various factors to ensure fairness and equity.

Duration of the marriage

According to World Population Review, the divorce rate in Texas is 1.4% of married couples. The duration of the marriage is a pivotal factor in deciding spousal support in Texas. Generally, longer marriages tend to result in higher spousal support payments. The rationale is to address the financial adjustments that might be necessary for a spouse who has been out of the workforce for an extended period.

Income disparities

The income of each spouse plays a  role in determining spousal support. Texas courts assess both parties’ earning capacity, employment history and overall financial situation. If there is a significant difference in income, the spouse with lower earnings may be eligible for support to help maintain a reasonable standard of living post-divorce.

Educational background and employment skills

Educational background and employment skills are considerations that influence spousal support decisions. If one spouse sacrificed career opportunities to support the family, the court may take this into account. The goal is to ensure that both spouses have the means to move forward independently after the divorce.

Contributions to the marriage

The judge will carefully examine contributions to the marriage, both financial and non-financial. Texas courts recognize that homemaking and child-rearing are valuable to a marriage. The court may award a spouse who dedicated their time to these responsibilities support as recognition of their contribution.

Health and age considerations

The health and age of each spouse are additional factors weighed in spousal support determinations. If a spouse has health issues that limit their ability to work or if they are of an advanced age, the court may consider these factors when deciding the appropriate level of support.

Understanding the factors Texas courts take into consideration when determining spousal support is essential for individuals facing divorce.