How Much Alimony for How Long?

Last time we reviewed the basic criteria for you or your ex-spouse to pursue a spousal maintenance or alimony claim in your Woodlands Divorce. If you or your spouse does meet the threshold criteria to qualify for spousal maintenance in your divorce case some important questions remain. How much alimony will you pay or receive and for how long will the payments last? Your Woodlands Divorce Attorney can help you answer these questions.

How Much Spousal Maintenance?

The standard the court uses in setting spousal maintenance is to provide for the minimum reasonable needs of the spouse eligible for alimony, considering employment or property received in the divorce or otherwise owned by that spouse that contributes to the minimum reasonable needs of him or her.

There is a limit on how much spousal maintenance can be awarded in a Woodlands divorce case. The monthly limit is the lesser of

  1. 20 percent of the spouse’s average monthly gross income; or
  2. $2,500;

Department of Veterans Affairs service-connected disability compensation, social security benefits and disability benefits, and workers’ compensation benefits are excluded from spousal maintenance.

How Long Can Spousal Maintenance Last?

Spousal maintenance is temporary and does not last forever. A court:

  1. may not order maintenance that remains in effect for more than three years after the date of the order; and
  2. shall limit the duration of a maintenance order to the shortest reasonable period that allows the spouse seeking maintenance to meet the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs by obtaining appropriate employment or developing an appropriate skill, unless the ability of the spouse to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs through employment is substantially or totally diminished because of: (A) physical or mental disability; (B) duties as the custodian of an infant or young child; or (C) another compelling impediment to gainful employment.
When Does it End?

Spousal maintenance payments can end early if certain conditions arise. These conditions are:

  1. the death of either party or on the remarriage of the person awarded maintenance payments.
  2. After a hearing, the court shall terminate the maintenance order if the obligee cohabits with another person in a permanent place of abode on a continuing, conjugal basis.

Speak with a Woodlands Divorce Attorney today if you need help resolving an alimony issue with your divorce.

About the Author

The Woodlands Divorce Resource is here to help you with your divorce, child custody, or other family law issue in Montgomery County or Harris County. Many of our visitors come from the areas of The Woodlands, Conroe, Oak Ridge North, Cut and Shoot, and other communities in the Montgomery County area or Houston and North Harris County. If you need legal assistance with your family law issue speak with a divorce lawyer in The Woodlands, TX today and protect your rights.