Can she get alimony?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can she get alimony?

My ex-wife and I have been separated 12 years now but we are still legally married. We have 2 children together, of whom I have primary custody. My current girlfriend and I have been together 11 years and have an 8 year old daughter together. My ex-wife was recently ordered to pay child

support and is upset about it. She says that she’s filing for divorce and is going to try and get alimony and play the

Asked on January 20, 2018 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Texas is not an alimony state.  A person can only get alimony in the state of Texas if the parties contractually agree to it.
Because you and her have been married over ten years, she can make an application for a similar thing called "marital support."  However, she is not likely to get it.  "Marital support" is not based on whether one side has committed adulterly.  It's sole purpose is to help one spouse get back on their feet if they are affected by the divorce. (For example, a wife having to rebuild a career after being a stay at home mom, or a husband traumatized by physical abuse)   Considering that you and her have been separated for 12 years, she can't claim that you 'suddenly leaving her' has created a hardship that would justify marital support.  She's watched a little too much TV.
With regard to the "adultery" card, if both parties have moved on, then the Court is not likely to care about the adultery issue.  They will view the divorce as just a procedure to put to bed what was already resolved years ago.  Texas is a no-fault divorce state.  One spouse can allege a basis, however, it only affects property distrubtion---not alimony or marital support. Even when parties are successful in an adultery claim, the court still do not give one party a windfall over the other, especially when both spouses are engaged in the conduct.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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