Texas was the last state in the United States to approve post-divorce alimony. The old post-divorce alimony law allowed a maximum of $2,500 per month for a maximum of three years, for a marriage exceeding ten years.
In 2011, the legislators amended the law. The revised law allows alimony to be paid for up to a 10 year period for a marriage that exceeds 30 years, and raises the possible maximum monthly amount to $5,000 up from $2,500.
The maximum period of alimony is tied to the duration of the marriage. For a 0-10 year marriage, no spousal maintenance can be ordered. The only exception to this law is disability or family violence. For a 10-20 year marriage the maximum allowed is 5 years of support. For a 20-30 year marriage the maximum allowed is 7 years. If the marriage is over 30 years, the maximum time allowed for spousal maintenance is 10 years.
The new law continues to base spousal maintenance on need, and requires the spouse receiving alimony to be seeking employment or training. The alimony payments are intended to cover only the recipients “minimum reasonable needs” and for as short a time as necessary before the recipient can gain the job skills and/or a job to meet such minimum reasonable needs. The legal presumption is that no post-divorce support shall be paid.