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What is Alimony?

So you’re getting a divorce and wondering about alimony. Will you have to pay or will your spouse? For how long will these payments be made? And for how much?

Not all of these questions can be easily answered, but there are some facts about alimony that can help you wrap your head around what to expect.

Alimony payments are monthly payments one spouse has to pay the other. Generally, whether you will pay alimony is based on how much you earn, how much your spouse earns and both of your standards of living at the time of marriage. If you earn significantly more than your spouse, and the loss of your income would have a severe impact on his or her standard of living, there’s a good chance you will be ordered to pay alimony. Some of the factors the court considers to determine the amount of monthly alimony to be paid include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Age, earning ability, employment history and the health of the spouse seeking alimony
  • Whether one spouse was the homemaker during the marriage
  • Any acts of cruel treatment by either spouse
  • Whether children are involved

Most alimony payments in Texas are ordered for a period between 5 and 10 years in order to give the spouse receiving payments time to start earning enough income to meet his or her basic needs. However, when children (or mental or physical disabilities) are involved, these payments can last longer.

If you are going through a divorce or just looking for more straightforward answers about the process of alimony and how it may affect you, contact an experienced Houston divorce attorney today.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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