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What is the general duration for spousal support in Texas?

A Texas couple that divorces will often have one former spouse paying spousal support to the other. The law has certain criteria for how this is determined and in what amount. What many might not be aware of is that in most cases, alimony is not going to last forever. There is a duration for the maintenance and it will end at a certain point. When it ends depends on the circumstances of each individual situation.

The order for maintenance may not last longer than five years in the event that the spouses were married to one another for less than 10 years and if the spouse who is receiving maintenance meets the eligibility requirements. If the spouses were married to each other for more than 10 years but less than 20 years, then there will be spousal support for five years. If the couple was married for a minimum of 20 years but not more than 30 years, then the spousal support will be for seven years. It will be 10 years if the spouses were married for more than 30 years.

The court can limit the amount of time that the spousal support is provided to the shortest reasonable amount for the recipient to earn enough income to provide for the person's basic needs. If the spouse is not able to do so because of a mental or physical disability, cannot fulfill the duties as a custodian of a child who came as a result of the marriage or if there is another impediment for the paying spouse to provide for the receiving spouse, then it can be extended.

Either spouse can apply for a modification after a periodic review of the situation applicable to either of the former spouses. Spousal support is a frequent issue up for dispute when a couple decides to end their marriage. Some might not know how the law deals with time limits and other factors that go into how long the support will be provided and what must be in place regarding it continuing or ending. Speaking to a legal professional can help with any problem regarding these family law issues.

Source:, "Sec. 8.054. Duration Of Maintenance Order," accessed on Oct. 6, 2015

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