Texas Alimony Calculator

Texas laws don’t include the word alimony. Instead, officials use the term spousal maintenance. This phrase applies to court-ordered payments after a divorce. 

Spousal maintenance is money the Texas court orders one spouse to pay the other after divorce. The money is meant to help the recipient maintain the standard of living they enjoyed before the divorce. Not all divorced spouses are eligible for spousal maintenance; it depends on the details of their situation.

Texas courts cap spousal maintenance payments at $5,000 or 20% of the payer’s gross monthly income, whichever is smaller. But a judge can use their discretion to set the amount much lower, depending on factors such as marriage length, the quality of the relationship, and employment potential. 

If you're wondering how much you might have to pay – or might receive – in spousal maintenance in Texas, you might start searching for an online alimony calculator. However, you should note that these calculators (made by private companies) are only for “entertainment” purposes. You might get an idea of how much you’d receive or pay, but you might not.


Are you eligible for court-ordered spousal maintenance in Texas?

Some people aren’t eligible for court-ordered spousal maintenance payments in Texas. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Here are four possible ways you might be able to qualify for court-ordered spousal maintenance.

Spousal conviction

You may qualify for alimony if your spouse is guilty of violence against you or your child and has been convicted of the crime, pleaded guilty to the crime, or pleaded no contest to the crime.

Financial need

If you were married for at least 10 years and can demonstrate your financial need, you may be eligible for spousal support. Your need may stem from a personal disability, the need to care for a disabled child, or another situation that prevents you from fulfilling your own needs.

Mutual agreement

If both of you agree to a spousal maintenance arrangement, the court is more likely to support this.

Immigrant sponsorship

If one member of the couple is a sponsored immigrant, they could ask the court to require their spouse (the likely sponsor) to support them until they are able to become a U.S. citizen or earn up to 40 work credits.

In the section below, we explore all four of the above circumstances in more detail.

What factors do courts consider when determining payment amounts?

Texas laws include rules about what judges can and can't factor into their decisions about spousal maintenance. These are the points that might come up in a hearing: 

Marriage length 

Texas courts usually require marriages to last for at least 10 years before issuing spousal maintenance. If you haven't spent a decade together, you are unlikely to receive spousal maintenance payments upon divorce. (An exception exists in the case of spousal abuse, which we address in the next section.)

If you spent longer than 10 years together, the court will look at whether one partner may have sacrificed their education, career, or other opportunities to support the other. That could translate to a bigger payment.

Example: Two sets of people are filing for divorce. One union lasted 20 years; the other lasted five. The longer marriage could end with alimony, but the other would not.

Relationship quality 

If your spouse was convicted of a violent offense against you or your children within two years of filing for divorce, your marriage length no longer matters to the court when determining eligibility for support payments. You are entitled to payments from your spouse, and you aren't required to prove you're looking for work to keep receiving those payments.

Example: Two sets of people are filing for divorce. One union was relatively happy and lasted 20 years, and the other was marred by an arrest for child abuse and lasted five years. Both marriages could end with alimony.

Earning potential 

Your earning potential is an important consideration for the judge if you're asking for alimony. You must prove that you need it.

You could cite one of the following:

  • A lack of property or income
  • A disabled child under your care
  • A personal disability
  • A lack of education or training
  • An inability to complete an education or training due to time or inaccessibility
  • Advanced age

If you are awarded spousal maintenance payments, you may be required to prove that you are searching for jobs or getting training or other educational opportunities. When your financial circumstances change, so should your payments.

Example: Two sets of people are filing for divorce. One union involves a spouse who makes $75,000 per year and a spouse with no income. This divorce would likely involve alimony. The second union marriage involved two people who each earn the same amount per year. This divorce may not involve alimony.

Legal status  

If you’re a sponsored immigrant, you could require your spouse (as your sponsor) to provide you with 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines in support until you become a U.S. citizen or have 40 credits of work history.

Example: Two people file for divorce after 10 years of marriage, and one is an immigrant sponsored by the other. That person has no income or job prospects due to working as a homemaker during the marriage. This divorce could involve alimony payments until the person becomes an official citizen.

Marriage history

Certain events (or evidence of events) during a marriage could affect the possibility of spousal maintenance being awarded in a Texas divorce. These include the following:

  • There is evidence of financial fraud, including unusual spending habits or concealment of funds.
  • Contributions were made by one spouse to the education or training of the other.
  • Property was brought into the marriage by either spouse.
  • Non-financial contributions were made by one spouse as a homemaker.
  • Marital misconduct or family violence occurred during the marriage.

Example: Two sets of people are filing for divorce. One union involves a partner making $75,000 per year and a partner who spent the marriage working as a homemaker. Now, they have no means to get a job. This divorce would likely involve alimony. 

The second marriage involves two people with the same salary, but one partner hid assets in a secret bank account. This divorce may also involve alimony.

Read: Financial Disclosures in Texas: What You Need to Know

Can you modify alimony in Texas?

For marriages that lasted 10 to 20 years, in most cases, Texas statutes cap payment duration at five years. If you were married a minimum of 20 years but not more than 30 years, your alimony payments may last up to seven years. If you were married for 30 years or more, your alimony arrangement could last up to 10 years.

Notably, the potential exists for you to modify any of these arrangements before they end. 

Good reasons to change spousal payments include the following situations:

  • The person getting payments is living with a new romantic partner
  • Either party has died 
  • The person receiving payments has a new job
  • The person making payments can no longer afford them

Visit the court that processed your Texas divorce, and file modification paperwork. The clerk will schedule a hearing to determine what the new payment should be or whether all future payments should be canceled. 

What is a reputable alimony calculator?

The state of Texas does not have an official alimony calculator. However, there is a maximum amount that could be paid: State law imposes a monthly limit of no more than $5,000 or 20% or the obligor's gross income to be paid in alimony.

An online Texas calculator like this one might tell you what your maximum payment might be, but it’s not made or endorsed by Texas officials. If you use this tool, know that it’s just for estimation purposes only. The numbers can be interesting, as the following examples make clear:

  • One partner makes $75,000, and the other makes $0. They’ve been married for 10 years. The first partner must pay the second $1,250 monthly for 60 months.
  • One partner makes $75,000, and the other makes $0. They’ve been married for 20 years. The first partner must pay the second $1,250 monthly for 84 months.
  • One partner makes $55,000, and the other makes $45,000. They’ve been married for 10 years. The first partner must pay the second $91.67 monthly for 60 months.
  • One partner makes $55,000, and the other makes $45,000. They’ve been married for 20 years. The first partner must pay the second $91.67 monthly for 60 months.

Remember that these tools don't include all factors a judge might consider in your case. The only way to know your precise final payment is to complete a hearing with a judge.

Frequently asked questions

I owe spousal maintenance payments, but I just got remarried. Can I stop making them?

No. Alimony obligations don’t end when the person making payments gets remarried. However, they will end when the person receiving payments gets remarried.

Could living with a romantic partner, even if we’re not married, change my spousal maintenance?

Yes. Texas law says spousal maintenance payments can end when the person getting the payments lives permanently with a romantic partner.

Is spousal support the same as spousal maintenance in Texas?

No, spousal support involves voluntary payments partners agree on during the split. Spousal maintenance involves court-ordered payments.

Suggested: How to Modify Spousal and Child Support after Income Loss


Spousal Maintenance (Alimony). (January 2023).
Family Code, Title 1, Subtitle C, Chapter 8, Subchapter A, General Provisions. (September 2021). State of Texas. 
Texas Maintenance (Alimony) Calculator. Legal Calculators.
HB91. (May 2011). Texas Legislature.
Divorce Specialists
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