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Is it hard to get court-ordered alimony?

Alimony is not always easy to get, and states have varying requirements for court-ordered alimony. In Texas, it can be tricky to get. This is because Texas generally wants to create incentives for people to maintain employment. The theory is that alimony, especially long-term alimony, creates a reason for people to not find jobs.

Of course, if you are someone who genuinely and seriously needs alimony, it can be frustrating to think about the court denying it. The good news is that, in some cases, the path to alimony is fairly clear-cut, assuming your ex-spouse has the means to pay it after dividing property and deciding any child support issues.

Disability and violence

If you have a disability serious enough to affect your career prospects and your ability to earn enough to satisfy your basic needs, then you may be able to get alimony for as long as you need it.

A similar principle applies if your ex-spouse committed domestic violence against you or your child during the marriage. However, he or she must have a conviction and the violence should have occurred no more than two years before you file for divorce. In addition, this limits the length for which you can receive alimony.

Child with disability

If you had a child with your spouse and that child requires significant care to meet basic needs due to a disability, you might not be able to work or work as much as you would otherwise. Alimony can help in many such scenarios.

Length of marriage

If you have been married at least 10 years and not worked for all or part of that period, the court recognizes that it can be much harder to get the skills you need to re-enter the workforce. Thus, you may be able to get alimony until you have these skills.


Of course, if you end up moving in with a new romantic partner, the court might decide you no longer qualify for alimony. A remarriage on your part will end alimony, and if your ex-spouse dies, alimony ends too. When doing your tax returns, report alimony payments made to you as income.

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