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Everybody hopes for an amicable divorce, but there are few subjects related to divorce that produce such passions as the concept of alimony. If you are going through a divorce in Texas, it is important to understand the alimony laws in the state and how they may or may not apply to you, whether you are the higher-earning party or the dependant one.

In Texas, “alimony” is known as “spousal support.” According to the government of Texas, in order for one spouse to receive alimony, they must demonstrate an inability to live independently without such support or be the victim of domestic violence. Assuming that the dependant spouse is able to prove either of these scenarios, the length of time he or she will receive spousal support is based upon the length of the marriage.

For example, if your relationship has lasted between 10 and 20 years, the dependent spouse may be able to receive spousal support for up to five years. If the relationship lasted between 20 and 30 years, the dependent spouse may be able to receive spousal support for up to seven years. If your relationship lasted for less than a decade, the dependent spouse may be able to receive spousal support if the other spouse was abusive.

The amount of spousal support depends on the income of the higher-earning spouse. Typically, spousal support will either be $5,000 a month or 20% of the higher-earning spouse’s income, whichever one is lower.

This post is intended to educate you about spousal support in the state of Texas. It is not intended to be legal advice.