What are the Rules for Securing Permanent Alimony?

Explained by Our Houston Alimony Lawyer

Photo of Property StruggleIn 2011, the Texas legislature changed the alimony laws and courts now almost exclusively order rehabilitative maintenance instead of permanent alimony. This is part of a national trend of all fifty states moving away from awards of permanent alimony towards helping spouses become self-sufficient through rehabilitative maintenance. Permanent alimony is a type of alimony granted in circumstances in which one spouse is solely dependent on the other for income and is mentally or physically disabled, or is the primary custodian for a child with mental or physical disabilities.

Houston alimony arrangements can be complex, and accordingly, it is best if you contact a Houston divorce lawyer if you believe you are in need of permanent alimony. The Houston family lawyers at John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C., are experienced in a wide variety of alimony matters and we are available to assist you with your permanent alimony issues.

Determining Whether Permanent Alimony Should Be Awarded

The current Texas alimony statute provides for rehabilitative alimony to be ordered for limited time and duration in all but the most extreme situations. If a spouse demonstrates he or she is unable to provide for his or her “minimum reasonable needs” due to either a mental or physical disability, or if the spouse is a custodian of a child with mental or physical disabilities, the spouse can request the court order permanent maintenance for as long as the disability exists. When determining whether permanent alimony should be awarded, courts look at the following factors:

  • The respective income of each spouse
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The roles of the spouses during the marriage
  • The ages of the spouses

Termination of Permanent Alimony

Although it is considered “permanent,” this form of alimony may be terminated or modified if there is a change in circumstances. Examples of such a change include:

  • The recipient spouse is no longer unable to earn income due to a mental or physical disability
  • The recipient spouse is no longer the custodian of a child who requires special care due to mental or physical disability
  • An increase in the recipient spouse’s income
  • Remarriage of the recipient spouse
  • Loss of the paying spouse’s job
  • Retirement of the paying spouse
  • Death of either spouse

Assistance with Houston Permanent Alimony Attorney

If you are going through a divorce and have questions about your alimony issues, the Houston alimony attorneys at our law firm are ready and willing to assist you through this difficult process. Contact the Houston spousal support lawyers at our firm today to set up a free initial consultation.