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Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

What Qualifies A Spouse For Alimony?

Navigating the complexities of a divorce includes understanding the nuances of alimony, or spousal support, which can vary significantly across states like Colorado, California, and Texas. Given that each state has its unique guidelines and criteria for determining alimony, a thorough understanding of these rules is essential for anyone going through a divorce. This knowledge ensures you are well-prepared to handle the financial aspects of your divorce proceedings.

What Qualifies A Spouse For Alimony?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is financial assistance that one spouse may be required to provide to the other post-divorce to mitigate any unfair economic effects by providing a continuing income to a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse. Here’s how eligibility for alimony is determined in Colorado, California, and Texas:

Colorado Spousal Maintenance

In Colorado, alimony is referred to as “spousal maintenance.” A spouse may qualify for maintenance if they lack sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs and are unable to support themselves through appropriate employment, or are the custodian of a child whose condition makes it appropriate for that parent not to seek employment outside the home. The amount and duration of the maintenance are influenced by the length of the marriage and the financial circumstances of both parties.

California Alimony

California determines alimony based on the recipient’s “marital standard of living,” which aims to allow the spouse to continue living in a similar manner as during the marriage. Factors considered include the length of the marriage, the financial needs and resources of each party, and the age and health of the parties. Generally, longer marriages may result in longer periods of alimony support.

Texas Spousal Maintenance

Texas applies more stringent criteria for alimony, officially termed “spousal maintenance.” The spouse seeking support must show that they will lack sufficient property at divorce to provide for their minimum reasonable needs. Eligibility may also depend on whether the spouse from whom maintenance is sought was convicted of family violence shortly before or during the divorce process, or if the spouse seeking alimony cannot earn sufficient income due to a disability, the care of a young or disabled child, or another compelling reason.

alimony in California


Understanding and managing alimony is a critical part of navigating the divorce process, and it can vary greatly depending on your state’s laws. Modern Family Law’s SimpleStart program is designed to help you understand these complexities with a clear, fixed-fee pricing structure and dedicated legal professionals. Simplify your divorce proceedings and gain confidence by checking out the SimpleStart program.

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Explore SimpleStart today and make sure to discuss how it can benefit your specific situation with our attorneys.

Modern Family Law

At Modern Family Law, we blend our deep understanding of divorce’s complexities with a commitment to guiding you down the right path, tailored specifically to your unique circumstances. Our seasoned team of family lawyers is ready to explore different options with you, offering the personalized guidance, support, and answers you need. We leverage innovative technology to streamline the legal process, ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the best long-term outcomes for your family. Practicing across Colorado, California, and Texas, our compassionate family attorneys view each case as a chance to make a positive, lasting difference in your life. To embark on a journey towards resolution with care and precision, contact us for a consultation, and let us address your needs and concerns every step of the way.

By: MFL Team

Posted April 16, 2024



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