Factors used in determining spousal support

Texas residents who are going through a divorce may know that spousal support may be granted on an individual basis. The parties to the divorce may reach decisions about spousal support, or if that is not possible, the court will decide. The court determination is based on specific factors. Spousal support is often intended to allow the alimony-receiving spouse to retrain or to take courses designed to advance his or her employability, giving the individual the opportunity to become self-sufficient.

The court will evaluate the couple’s financial assets and the ability of both spouses to find employment. This is done by reviewing the education, employment histories and the jointly held and separate property of both parties. The court will also look at their debt and how the marital property was divided, and consideration is given to their age and general health status.

The existence of marital misconduct, including evidence of adultery, may also be examined and might affect the alimony award in addition to the contributions both parties made during the marriage. A spouse may help the other to pursue education and career goals, and the court will address this when deciding about alimony.

Spousal support in Texas is not guaranteed. Eligibility is decided on a case-by-case basis. An attorney experienced in family law may provide guidance in petitioning the court for alimony. The attorney may help the spouse seeking alimony by structuring a petition that outlines their financial status and enables the court to decide the amount of alimony in a fair and appropriate way. In cases where a person is not receiving the support that has already been ordered, the attorney may be able to help a client pursue enforcement measures.

Source:, “Texas Spousal Support/Maintenance/Alimony Factors“, September 22, 2014