Getting a divorce will not free you from being responsible for your ex-spouse. Aside from supporting your children, you may also have to give spousal support. You may know spousal maintenance as “alimony”. They are one and the same.
Notoriously, there are those who would use marriage and divorce to live off of alimony. Some countries and states have already caught on and have made conditions for granting spousal support.
Texas Rules for Spousal Support/Alimony
The State of Texas has actually been very strict with alimony. It was not allowed until recently. There are many conditions before an ex-spouse can be awarded what they term as “spousal maintenance.”
Both parties have to agree on the terms of spousal maintenance. The court may also set the terms if the parties disagree. Marriage for at least ten years to qualify for alimony. Evidence must be established that the spouse applying cannot afford to support himself/herself.
The rules also stipulate that to request for spousal maintenance, the ex-spouse must be disabled physically or mentally. If not, it must be shown that the recipient is the primary caretaker of their child.
Tax Regulations for Spousal Maintenance
The amount being paid for spousal support is exempt from the taxable income of the one making the payment. It is the taxable income of the receiver.
Divorces finalized on or later than January 1, 2019 will no longer allow the payer to declare the alimony as tax-deductible. On the other hand, the recipient is no longer required to report the amount as taxable income.
Identifying Spousal Maintenance
It should be noted that spousal maintenance/spousal support is separate from child support. These are all separate from property settlement payments, mortgage payments or insurance premiums.
Payments to a third party are not alimony like medical expenses, tuition fees or other court-ordered payments.
Duration of Spousal Maintenance
The court determines the length of spousal support depending on the conditions. If it is based on a disability, then the support will continue as long as the condition remains. One factor in determining duration is the length of the marriage.
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