Pay Alimony Timeline


Pay Alimony Timeline

If you’re going through a divorce and the court orders you to pay alimony, you may have questions about your obligations and the timeline for making these payments. Alimony, also called “maintenance” in Texas, is designed to help a lower-earning spouse meet their minimum reasonable needs.

Duration of Alimony Payments

If you are required to pay alimony, the duration of these payments can vary depending on several factors. Some common types of alimony and their typical durations include:

  • Temporary alimony: Temporary alimony is designed to provide financial support to a lower-earning spouse while the divorce is occurring. This alimony is typically awarded temporarily and ends when you finalize the divorce.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: Rehabilitative alimony aims to provide financial support to a lower-earning spouse to obtain the education, training, or work experience necessary to become self-supporting. Depending on the circumstances, the court typically awards this type of alimony for a specific period, such as two to five years.
  • Contractual alimony: This type of maintenance is based on an agreement made by the spouses and is not ordered by the court. If the parties can agree, they’ll present the agreement to the court for the judge’s approval, and it will become part of the divorce decree.
  • Post-divorce alimony: This type of maintenance provides financial support to a lower-earning spouse after a divorce. This type of alimony is less common than it used to be and is typically only given in cases where the marriage lasted ten years or more. The court can award alimony for up to ten years if the marriage lasted thirty years or more.

Maintenance is not awarded as a matter of course in Texas. If you believe you’ll require maintenance to survive after your divorce, hire a family law attorney.

Factors Affecting Alimony Amounts

If you are required to pay alimony, the amount of these payments can vary depending on several factors. Based on factors that include the length of the marriage, standard of living, earning capacity, and the amount of financial resources available, child support and alimony in Texas can be given. Some common factors affecting alimony amounts include:

Each spouse’s financial circumstances

The court will ascertain whether both spouses can provide for themselves through income and/or assets and meet their reasonable needs.

Education, skills, and employment

If one spouse needs additional education or training to earn enough income to be self-sufficient, that will be a factor in determining maintenance.

Duration of the marriage

The length of time the marriage lasted can also impact alimony amounts. In most cases, marriages lasting less than 10 years will not result in maintenance payments.

Contributions to the marriage

The court will consider each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, both financial and non-financial when determining alimony amounts. For example, if one spouse stayed home to raise children or support the other spouse’s career, this may be considered when determining alimony amounts.

Age and health

The court may consider the mental and physical health and the age of the spouse seeking maintenance when making a determination.

Marital misconduct

The court can take into consideration whether one spouse misbehaved toward the other during the marriage when determining whether and how much maintenance to award.

History of family violence

If there has been domestic violence in the marriage, the court may consider this as a factor in the maintenance determination.

Modifying or Terminating Alimony

It’s important to understand that alimony obligations aren’t permanent. In many cases, alimony orders can be changed or ended altogether if either spouse’s circumstances change. Some common reasons to modify or terminate alimony include:

  • Changes in income: If either party experiences a significant change in income, such as the loss of a job or a significant increase in income, this may be grounds for modifying or terminating alimony payments.
  • Remarriage or cohabitation: If the receiving spouse remarries or begins cohabiting with a new partner, this may be grounds for terminating alimony payments because the receiving spouse’s new relationship should give them the financial support they need.
  • Death of either party: Maintenance payments typically terminate upon the death of either party. However, the court may order that alimony payments continue from the deceased payor’s estate after their death. This happens only if the receiving spouse is elderly or has significant health issues.

If your circumstances necessitate a modification or termination of your alimony obligations, consult an experienced family law attorney. They can evaluate your case and advise you in seeking a modification or termination of your alimony payments.

Tax Implications of Alimony

Pay Alimony Timeline

It’s important to understand the tax implications of alimony payments, as they can significantly impact your financial situation. For alimony orders entered into before January 1, 2019, alimony payments are typically tax-deductible for the paying spouse. In addition, taxable income for the receiving spouse is tax-deductible.

However, for alimony orders entered into on or after January 1, 2019, alimony payments are not tax-deductible. This is true for the paying spouse or taxable income for the receiving spouse. This change was made as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and has significant implications for divorced parties.

Get Help from a Skilled Divorce Attorney Today

When do you have to pay alimony in Texas? At Smith Family Law, our compassionate and knowledgeable Austin alimony attorneys understand the challenges people face when dealing with alimony issues. Our firm works closely with our clients to understand their unique circumstances and develop strategies tailored to their needs.

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling various alimony matters, from initial determinations to modifications and enforcement. We understand the financial impact that alimony payments can have on your life. We’re committed to advocating for your rights and helping you achieve a fair and equitable outcome.

If you have questions about alimony eligibility criteria, the duration of alimony payments, the factors affecting alimony amounts, or any other aspect of paying or receiving alimony, we encourage you to call our office at (512) 277-3166 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. During consultation, we’ll listen to your story, answer your questions, and provide the information you need to make informed decisions.

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Written by: Smith Family Law

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