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How is the amount of spousal maintenance or alimony decided?

The amount of spousal maintenance depends on factors such as

  • the spouse’s ability to provide for minimum reasonable needs
  • the duration of the marriage
  • whether the spouse seeking maintenance has contributed as a homemaker
  • marital misconduct

The Texas Family Code places limitations on the amount and duration of spousal support. Generally, spousal maintenance is limited to the shortest reasonable time that allows the spouse seeking maintenance to earn sufficient income to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs. Before September of 2011, this was largely limited to three years; however, the Texas legislature has implemented a system that also considers the length of the marriage and the basis for the award.