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What Are The Different Types of Spousal Support?


Alimony or spousal support, known officially as spousal maintenance in Texas, is not guaranteed in all divorce cases. But when one of the spouses is considered incapable of financially supporting themselves while going through the divorce or after the divorce, a judge may consider ordering spousal maintenance for that spouse. Divorcing couples may also agree on spousal maintenance payments, the amount required, and the duration of payments. If they can’t, a judge will decide for them.

Permanent Spousal Maintenance

A judge awards this type of spousal maintenance when one spouse isn’t able to support themselves because of a disability, age, or other factors. It’s meant to provide ongoing financial support to cover the recipient spouse’s basic necessities, including food, healthcare, housing, etc. Judges typically award permanent spousal maintenance when the chances of the recipient spouse becoming self-sufficient post-divorce are nearly impossible or when the couple has been married for a very long time.

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

A judge usually orders temporary spousal maintenance in an ongoing divorce case to help the recipient spouse pay for their expenses until their divorce has been finalized. It’s typically based on the financial needs of the recipient spouse and the financial capability of the paying spouse. Temporary spousal maintenance can also protect the couple’s assets and credit. In Texas, take note that you’re still legally married until your divorce has been finalized, meaning that any financial problems your spouse faces also threaten your finances, and vice-versa.

Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance

Rehabilitative spousal maintenance is ordered to help the recipient spouse become financially independent. A judge orders this type of alimony for a predetermined time to help the recipient spouse receive training or education to develop their earning ability. In most cases, a judge will order rehabilitative spousal maintenance when one spouse sacrificed their education or career to become a homemaker or support their spouse’s education or career.

Lump Sum Spousal Maintenance

Lump sum spousal maintenance is a one-time payment awarded to the recipient spouse. Judges usually order lump sum alimony in cases where the paying spouse doesn’t have a consistent source of income but has substantial assets.

Reimbursement Spousal Maintenance

Reimbursement spousal maintenance is ordered for compensating the recipient spouse for certain contributions or expenses they incurred while married. For instance, if the recipient spouse supported the other spouse when starting a business or paid for their spouse’s education, a judge may award them reimbursement for spousal maintenance.

Consult With a Skilled Texas Divorce Attorney Today

The rules governing spousal maintenance and divorce in Texas are complicated. Judges and courts use a broad range of factors to determine when and if spousal maintenance is needed. Even after they have determined to order alimony, various factors will affect the duration and amount of payments.

Selecting the most appropriate type of spousal maintenance is an emotional and complex process for many divorcing couples. But the Texas divorce attorneys at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC can help you navigate this ordeal and safeguard your legal rights. Fill out our online form or dial 210-222-9132 to schedule your case consultation with our Texas divorce attorney.