Alimony, or “spousal maintenance,” is a form of financial support given by one spouse to another after a divorce or separation. It may be paid directly to the recipient or used to pay debts or other obligations. The term “alimony” comes from the Latin word alimonia, meaning nourishment. There are many reasons why someone might need alimony, and how much a person receives depends on several factors.

Here are five things to know about spousal maintenance and alimony in Texas.

  1. The amount of alimony awarded depends on many factors.
    These factors include the length of marriage, the income of both spouses, and whether either party has been ordered to pay child support. If you are considering filing for alimony, it is important to understand what you can expect. You should also consider how much money you need to live comfortably.
  2. Not everyone qualifies for alimony.
    To receive spousal maintenance, a person must meet one of several conditions. These include a) Both parties agreeing that alimony be paid for a period of time, b) One partner being convicted of family violence against the other partner c) If one party is a sponsored immigrant.
  3. A person who receives alimony may also receive child support.
    Alimony is usually paid directly to the spouse receiving it. If there are children involved, the court will determine whether the parent paying alimony should pay child support as well. In some cases, the court may order one party to pay both alimony and child support.
  4. Alimony is usually taxable income to the recipient.
    If you receive alimony, you will likely need to report it as income on your tax return. Spouses receiving alimony can note the amount on Form 1040, Schedule 1. This form shows how much alimony you received and what deductions you took.
  5. An order for spousal maintenance must be in writing and signed by the judge.
    A court will consider several factors when deciding whether to grant alimony, including the length of marriage, the age and health of both spouses, the financial condition of each party at the time of the divorce, and the ability of either spouse to earn income.

This blog does not constitute legal advice. For questions about paying or receiving alimony in Texas, reach out to Sandoval Family Law.