The Texas Legislature made extensive revisions to the alimony and spousal maintenance provisions that went into effect on September 1. If you are filing for divorce in a marriage that lasted longer than ten years make sure your Woodlands Divorce Lawyer is familiar with these new rules. Today we will look at the changes made to the amount of alimony and the duration of alimony.
The previous maximum amount of alimony was $2,500 per month. Now, the maximum is $5,000 per month. The minimum amount remains at 20% of the average monthly income. This change impacts spouses that earn more than $12,500 per month because their amount of alimony payments just went up. For example, under the old system if the spouse earned $15,000 per month the maximum alimony payment was still $2,500. Now, the maximum alimony payment is $3,000 which is 20% of monthly income.
The duration of alimony and spousal maintenance payments was also increased. The previous limit was three years, no matter what. Now a sliding scale is in place.
- If the marriage lasted at least 10 years but not more than 20 years, the court can order alimony and maintenance payments to continue for five years;
- If the marriage lasted at least 20 years but not more than 30 years, the court can order alimony and maintenance payments to continue for seven years;
- If the marriage lasted more than 30 years, the court can order alimony and maintenance payments to continue for ten years.
Remember folks, there is no legal separation in Texas and you are still married for the purposes of calculating alimony and maintenance payments until the court enters your final divorce order. Dragging your feet just got potentially a lot more expensive. Contact us today at (832) 592-7913 if you are contemplating dissolving your marriage and have questions concerning your financial future and whether you could be eligible or liable for spousal support under the expanded provisions of the new law.
If you would like additional information, check out our free Woodlands Divorce Guide.