Divorcing couple signing alimony agreement.

What Determines the Need for Alimony in Texas?

If you are planning on getting a divorce in Texas, you probably have questions about alimony. For example, if you’re the primary earner in your household, you may wonder how much you’ll have to pay your spouse after your divorce. And if you’re a homemaker, you likely want to know how much alimony, if any, you’ll be entitled to once your divorce has been finalized. These are common and important concerns, and everyone considering a divorce in Texas should have a clear understanding of alimony prior to beginning the divorce process. Below is an overview of what determines the need for alimony. If you have additional questions about alimony or the divorce process, please contact our Denton County spousal maintenance attorney immediately for assistance. 

What determines alimony eligibility?

In Texas, one’s eligibility for alimony, which is  more accurately called “spousal maintenance,” is determined by looking at the following factors:

  • The spouse seeking maintenance must  lack sufficient property to support themselves and be unable to earn sufficient income to provide for his or her minimum reasonable needs, 


  • He or she was married to the other spouse for ten years or more before the divorce, or 
  • The paying spouse must have been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an act of family violence that was committed during the marriage or while the divorce was pending, or
  • His or her inability to earn sufficient income is due to an incapacitating mental or physical disability; or
  • His or her inability to earn sufficient income is due to his or her responsibilities as the custodian of a child of the marriage who has a physical or mental disability.

Eligibility is just the beginning 

While the above requirements must be met to be eligible for spousal support, this doesn’t mean that the eligible spouse will actually receive it. Once eligibility is established, the divorce court must then consider several factors to determine whether alimony or spousal maintenance is appropriate. These factors include the eligible spouse’s:

  • Educational background,
  • Age,
  • Employment history,
  • History of infidelity,
  • Contributions to the household, and
  • Efforts to secure employment during the pendency of the divorce.

Do you need spousal support assistance?

Regardless of whether you’re concerned about making or receiving spousal support payments, you need an experienced spousal support attorney on your side. At Youngberg Law Firm, attorney Mike Youngberg will utilize his legal experience and insight to ensure that your rights are protected in your divorce proceeding. With Mike Youngberg as your attorney, you can rest assured that your case is in the hands of a lawyer who is highly knowledgeable about the Texas divorce and spousal maintenance processes, and he’ll fight for you every step of the way. If you are seeking a divorce in Texas or have a spousal support issue that needs legal attention, please contact us today for a consultation.

Lawyer looking over a spousal maintenance agreement.

Factors That Could Terminate Spousal Maintenance Agreements

Following a divorce in Texas, the court allows for the payment of spousal maintenance (sometimes called alimony or spousal support) from one former spouse to the other. However, under certain circumstances, the paying spouse may petition the court to terminate spousal maintenance payments. Whether you are interested in pursuing or fighting a modification or termination of your spousal maintenance or alimony, please review the information below and contact a Denton County modification attorney as soon as possible for assistance. 


In Texas, a paying spouse’s obligation to pay spousal maintenance ends when his or her former spouse remarries. Upon remarriage of the alimony recipient, the paying spouse may stop sending alimony payments immediately—a court order isn’t necessary. However, if the paying spouse is behind on alimony payments, he or she must still pay these regardless of the other spouse’s marital status.  


Cohabitation occurs when two people involved in a romantic relationship live together on a continuous basis. In Texas, a paying spouse may cease making alimony or spousal maintenance payments when his or her former spouse begins to cohabitate with another person. However, unlike remarriage, the paying spouse is not permitted to immediately case payments upon the cohabitation of his or her ex. Rather, the paying spouse must file a motion with the family court requesting to cease payments due to cohabitation. The paying spouse must also provide evidence to the court of cohabitation. 

Significant Changes

The other way to terminate or modify a spousal maintenance order in Texas is to demonstrate to the court that there has been a significant change in the circumstances of either spouse. This option is available to both the paying and receiving spouse. Following any type of significant spousal maintenance order. For example, if the paying spouse suffers a significant decrease in income, the court may decide to decrease or terminate alimony payments. On the other hand, if the alimony recipient can prove that his or her needs have significantly increased or that the paying spouse’s income has significantly increased, the court can increase the amount of alimony that the paying spouse must provide. 

Contact our modifications attorney today 

Regardless of whether you’re seeking to modify or terminate a spousal maintenance agreement or are opposed to modification or termination, one thing’s for sure—you need an experienced Denton County Attorney on your side. And if you’re located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the Youngberg Law Firm in Corinth is here to help. Not only do we have experience in this unique area of divorce law, but we can represent you regardless of which side you’re on. When you choose Youngberg Law Firm to represent you in your modification or termination case, attorney Mike Youngberg will use his experience and professional insight to guide you through the modification or termination process. Please contact us today for a consultation.