Courts may not award alimony in Texas. However, the Texas legislature has created statutory spousal maintenance or spousal support, effectively bypassing the no alimony laws.
Spousal maintenance is generally awarded to one spouse based on the duration of the marriage and on that spouse’s ability to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs. The court must limit the duration of spousal maintenance to the shortest reasonable period of time. Further, the court cannot order more than the lesser of $5,000 per month or 20 percent of the spouse’s average monthly income.
For divorces filed after September 1, 2011, the court can make an award of spousal maintenance for:
- 5 years for spouses who were married less than 10 years
- 7 years for spouses who were married for 20 – 30 years
- 10 years for spouses who were married for 30 years or more