Justia Lawyer Rating for Jose Noriega
Superlawyer Badges
AV Preeminent Badge
AVVO Rating 10.0 - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
AVVO Rating 10.0 - Top Attorney Personal Injury
AVVO Top Contributor - Criminal Defense
AVVO Clients' Choice - Car Accidents
AVVO Top Contributor - Family
AVVO Clients' Choice - Criminal Defense

Alimony and Spousal Support: Guidelines in Plano, Texas

In any divorce, there may be one spouse who has significantly more income or assets than the other. In such cases, the lower-earning spouse may be eligible for alimony, also known as spousal support. Alimony is intended to provide financial support to the lower-earning spouse during and after the divorce process. If you live in Plano, Texas, understanding alimony and spousal support is essential to protect your rights and best interests. This article explores the different facets of alimony and spousal support in Texas and guidelines regarding them.

Understanding Alimony and Spousal Support Definition of Alimony and Spousal Support

Alimony and spousal support refer to court-ordered payments made by one spouse to the other during and/or after a divorce. The purpose of these payments is to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a standard of living that is not significantly different from the one they enjoyed before the separation or divorce. In Plano, Texas, the court can grant temporary spousal support or long-term alimony, based on factors that are unique to each case.

Types of Alimony in Texas

There are three primary types of alimony that can be awarded in Texas:

  • Temporary spousal support: This type of alimony is granted during the divorce process, usually to the lower-earning spouse to allow them to maintain their current standard of living while the divorce is pending. Temporary spousal support payments may end once the divorce is finalized, or they may be replaced by long-term alimony payments.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This is a form of spousal support awarded to the lower-earning spouse to help them obtain the education or training they need to become self-sufficient after the divorce is finalized. Rehabilitative alimony may have specific requirements, such as enrolling in an educational program, and may be awarded for a specific length of time.
  • Permanent alimony or spousal maintenance: This type of spousal support is awarded for a more extended period, possibly for the rest of the lower-earning spouse's life. The award of permanent alimony depends on several factors, such as the length of the marriage, the earning potential of both spouses, and the financial needs of the lower-earning spouse.
Factors Affecting Alimony Eligibility

Several factors can impact a spouse’s eligibility for alimony. The court considers several factors, including the spouses’ earning capacity, age, health, education, training, and the responsibilities of each spouse during the marriage. The court may award extra support to a spouse who suffered from family violence or delayed their personal goals for marriage's sake. The length of the marriage is also crucial in determining alimony eligibility. In Texas, if the marriage lasted for over ten years, the lower-earning spouse may be eligible for permanent alimony.

Determining Alimony Amount and Duration Calculating Alimony Payments

Calculating the amount of alimony or spousal support can be complicated and is usually determined on a case-by-case basis. The court takes into account various factors, such as the income and assets of both spouses, the length of the marriage, and the financial needs of the lower-earning spouse. Additionally, the court considers the ability of the paying spouse to make the payments when deciding on the alimony amount.

Duration of Spousal Support Payments

The duration of spousal support payments depends on the type of alimony awarded in each case. For example, temporary spousal support may end once the divorce is finalized, while rehabilitative alimony may last for the duration of an educational or training program. Permanent alimony may be awarded indefinitely or until the recipient gets married or dies.

Modifications to Alimony Agreements

In some cases, the court may allow modifications to the alimony payments if the circumstances of the paying spouse or the recipient’s financial situation significantly changed. For example, if the paying spouse lost their job and is unable to make payments, the court may adjust the payment amount or extend the alimony period. Alternatively, if the recipient remarries or cohabitates with someone, it may also affect the alimony payments.

The Role of the Court in Alimony Cases Court Process for Alimony Determination

The court plays a crucial role in determining alimony payments in divorce cases. The process starts with the filing of an initial divorce petition. The court then holds a hearing to determine what type of alimony, if any, is appropriate based on the evidence presented. Factors considered may include the length of the marriage, income and assets of each spouse, and the costs associated with maintaining a lifestyle similar to the one enjoyed during the marriage.

Temporary Spousal Support Orders

During the divorce process, the court may issue temporary orders to ensure that the lower-earning spouse continues to receive financial support while the alimony amount is being determined. An experienced attorney can help you understand the temporary spousal support guidelines and ensure that your rights are adequately protected.

Enforcement of Alimony Orders

If a spouse fails to pay court-ordered alimony or spousal support, the recipient may seek enforcement through the court. This may result in wage garnishment or other legal remedies to collect overdue payments. The court may also penalize the non-paying spouse for failing to comply with the court ordered alimony payments.

Tax Implications of Alimony Payments Alimony and Income Tax

For divorces finalized before December 31, 2018, alimony payments are taxable income for the recipient spouse and deductible for the paying spouse. However, for divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, alimony payments are no longer considered taxable income, and paying spouses cannot claim a tax deduction for alimony payments they made.

Tax Deductions for Spousal Support Payments

For divorces finalized before December 31, 2018, the paying spouse can claim a tax deduction for spousal support payments they made. The recipient spouse must report the payments as taxable income on their tax return.

Tax Consequences for the Recipient

For divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, the recipient spouse does not have to report alimony payments as taxable income and does not qualify for a tax deduction on the payments they made. However, it is essential to consult with a tax professional to understand your unique tax situation when considering alimony payments in your divorce.


Alimony and spousal support are crucial parts of any divorce case, especially when one spouse earns significantly less than the other. Understanding the different types of alimony, the factors that determine alimony eligibility and the legal guidelines surrounding them is essential to protecting your rights and best interest in any divorce case. If you require legal assistance in determining alimony payments during your divorce process, consult with an experienced divorce attorney who understands Plano-specific laws concerning spousal support.

Client Reviews
Guest and Gray law firm is wonderful. I have had the chance to work with three of the lawyers and they all have been wonderful. They will tell you when you need a lawyer and when you don't. They actually try to save you money. They respond very fast to questions and try to help you understand what is going on. They are caring and are really judgment free. If I needed a lawyer again I would use this firm in a second and recommend them. K.K.
I used Guest and Gray to deal with my ex wife's accusations of child neglect.I dealt with Robert Guest and Tracy Gray. Both were excellent attorneys and surpassed every expectation I had in fighting the false accusations. We Won ! M.B.
I used Guest & Gray for a child custody case and they were great. I was really nervous about the case but they took care of everything and answered all my questions. I would recommend their services to anyone. J.R.
I can highly recommend Guest and Gray. I have worked on a number of cases with Robert Guest and and Scott Gray and find it amazing how MOTIVATED they are to do everything they can for their clients, not to mention that there superior knowledge, etc. In criminal cases supportive relatives always want to know "what can I do" to help. Hire Guest and Gray. C.S.