Unlike in some states, Texas does not have a specific formula to calculate spousal support, or alimony. Instead, the court approves or denies alimony requests on an individual basis depending on the circumstances of the case.
Learn more about who may be eligible to receive spousal support following a divorce.
Paths to spousal support
Texas awards alimony only in four specific instances:
- The requesting spouse received sponsorship from the other spouse as an immigrant.
- Both parties agree on spousal support. They create an alimony amount and duration in their legal divorce agreement.
- The length of the marriage exceeded 10 years and the person requesting alimony either cannot financially self-support, has a disability or cares for a child with a disability.
- The requesting spouse or his or her child has been the victim of family violence at the hands of the other spouse in the past two years. In this case, the judge disregards the length of the marriage when awarding spousal support.
Alimony amount and duration
When the requesting spouse is an immigrant, he or she can receive support equaling 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines until earning either 40 work credits or U.S. citizenship. In other cases, the court typically caps support at either 20% of the paying spouse’s gross monthly income or $5,000, whichever is less.
Spousal support in Texas lasts no more than:
- Five years in cases of domestic violence or when the marriage lasted between 10 and 20 years
- Seven years when the marriage lasted between 20 and 30 years
- 10 years for marriages that lasted 30 or more years
When the person receiving support has a disability or serves as the primary caregiver of a disabled child, the court can award indefinite support. Spousal support also ends if either spouse dies or if the receiving spouse remarries or begins cohabitating with a new partner.