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Do I have to pay alimony to my wealthy spouse?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Family Law |

In Texas, alimony, or spousal maintenance, is not automatically granted in divorce cases. However, under certain circumstances, a court may order one spouse to provide financial support to the other after divorce.

If your spouse is wealthy, due to investments, inheritance or something else, you may wonder if you will be ordered to pay them alimony.

Eligibility for alimony

To be eligible for alimony in a litigated divorce matter, the spouse seeking support must demonstrate that they lack sufficient property, including separate property, to provide for their minimum reasonable needs, and one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The paying spouse was convicted of family violence within two years of the divorce filing, or during the divorce proceedings.
  • The marriage lasted for a minimum of ten years, and the spouse seeking maintenance cannot earn enough income to meet their minimum reasonable needs, either due to a disability, caring for a disabled child or another substantial impediment.

If the court finds that a spouse is eligible for alimony, the amount and duration are determined based on various factors, including:

  • Each spouse’s ability to provide for their own minimum reasonable needs.
  • Education and employment skills of the spouse seeking maintenance, including the time necessary to acquire education or training to become self-supporting.
  • If one spouse helped pay for education or training to increase the other spouse’s earning power.
  • The length of the marriage and age of the spouse seeking maintenance.
  • Earning ability and employment history of the receiving spouse.
  • Emotional and physical condition of the receiving spouse.

It is important to note that one of the purposes of alimony is to ensure both individuals can continue to live comfortably and how they did while married. If your spouse is wealthy but cannot continue living the life they are accustomed to, they may be awarded alimony. This is something that is considered on a case-by-case basis.

While Texas does allow for the possibility of alimony, it is not guaranteed, and eligibility and amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis, considering various factors outlined by Texas laws. A family law attorney can provide personalized guidance on alimony matters in Texas divorces.