Alimony in Texas Divorce Cases - Part 1

When most people think of alimony, they think of a monthly payment that an ex-husband gives to his ex-wife until she remarries or either one of them dies. This payment is part of getting divorced and has no relationship with anything other than, perhaps, financial need and lifestyle.

Texas law does not have this kind of alimony.

Under Texas divorce law, there are two brands of "alimony." First, one spouse can be ordered to pay temporary spousal support while the divorce is pending. If this issue is contested, it is decided during the hearing on Temporary Orders.

Second, there is post-divorce alimony that can be awarded in the final decree.

In either case, alimony is not automatic in Texas. The spouse seeking to obtain alimony has a burden of proof to show that she cannot meet her reasonable needs. In making her case for alimony, she must show that she has taken affirmative steps to mitigate her need for support. In other words, she typically has to show that she has been looking for a job. A diligent job search is not always required. For example, if:

  • the spouse has a disability that prevents her from working, or
  • if she is caring for a child who requires substantial care (e.g., a disabled child); or
  • if she lacks earning capacity in the labor market;

she may not have to show a diligent job search.

Jim K. Jopling
Attorney at Law
747 East San Antonio, Suite 103
El Paso, Texas 79912

(915) 541-6099

Toll Free Facsimile:
(866) 864-6854