How is Alimony Calculated?

Explained by our Houston Spousal Support Attorney

Photo of CalculatorUnlike the calculation of child support, which is largely set by statute, alimony varies depending on the circumstances of each individual case. When determining the amount and duration of alimony, Texas courts consider the following factors:

  • The financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony;
  • The relative education and employment skills of the spouses;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the dependent spouse;
  • The ability of the supporting spouse to meet that spouse’s needs while also providing child support, if applicable;
  • Any acts by either spouse that resulted in excessive expenditures or destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of marital property;
  • The financial resources of the spouses, including medical resources, retirement, insurance and other benefits;
  • The contribution by one spouse to the education, training or increased earning power of the other spouse;
  • The separate property of each spouse, if any;
  • Any property brought into the marriage by either spouse;
  • The contribution of the dependent spouse as a homemaker;
  • Marital misconduct on the part of the dependent spouse; and
  • Any efforts by the dependent spouse to pursue employment counseling

The Education and Employment Skills of the Spouses

When considering how much to alimony to award, courts consider the relative education and employment skills of the spouses. This includes the following:

  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training that would enable the dependent spouse to find appropriate employment;
  • The availability of education or training; and
  • The feasibility of that education or training

Education and employment generally serves as a gauge of the dependent spouse’s ability to support him or herself, as well as the supporting spouse’s ability to continue providing for the dependent spouse.

The Financial Resources of the Dependent Spouse

Courts also consider the financial resources of the spouse seeking alimony. These financial resources include:

  • Any separate property held by the dependent spouse;
  • The marital property and liabilities apportioned to the spouse during divorce proceedings; and
  • The ability of that spouse to meet his or her financial needs independently

Statutory Limitations of Alimony Payments

In 2011, the Texas legislature changed the laws to reflect a higher maximum monthly amount of alimony awarded by a court. Under the new laws, the maximum monthly amount is either $5,000, or 20% of the payor spouse’s gross income, whichever is less.

Providing Assistance in Calculating Alimony

At John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C., our Houston alimony attorney is prepared to assist you in calculating how much alimony should be awarded in your case. We have experience determining whether our clients are entitled to alimony, as well as the type of alimony due. If you are concerned about how much alimony you should receive or how much alimony you are required to pay, contact a Houston alimony lawyer at our firm today.