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Do same-sex couples in Texas have to pay alimony?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Same Sex Family Law Issues |

Alimony, also called spousal support, is a legal obligation for one spouse to provide financial support to the other. It occurs during or after divorce or separation.

In Texas, alimony laws apply regardless of the genders in the relationship.

Equality in alimony

Same-sex couples must follow the same alimony laws and considerations as opposite-sex couples. There are no special provisions or exemptions for same-sex couples.

Texas alimony laws

In Texas, alimony does not automatically occur. If one spouse asks for it, the court may grant it under certain conditions. These conditions include the duration of the marriage, the financial needs of the spouse requesting support and the ability of the other spouse to pay.

Factors in alimony determination

When deciding whether to award alimony, Texas courts consider various factors. They include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s ability to support themselves financially, their education and employment history and any health issues or disabilities that may affect their ability to work.

Age gaps

Same-sex couples are more likely to have age gaps. In these cases, one partner may be closer to retirement age while the other is still in prime working years. This difference in retirement timelines can impact alimony considerations. The older partner may have limited opportunities to increase their income or accumulate retirement savings.

Age gaps may also correlate with differences in health and long-term care needs. Older spouses may be more likely to require expensive medical treatments or long-term care services, which can strain the financial resources of both partners. In such cases, alimony payments may need to account for these additional expenses.

In relationships with significant age disparities, one partner may have had more time to establish their career and accumulate wealth. The financially disadvantaged partner may require support to bridge the gap in income potential and career opportunities.

Navigating Social Security benefits and pension rights can be complex. The younger partner may face challenges in accessing survivor benefits or pension distributions in the event of the older partner’s death or retirement. Alimony considerations may need to account for these factors to ensure equitable financial support for both partners, especially in long-term relationships.

Alimony laws in Texas strive for impartiality and fairness. All couples should approach alimony matters with careful consideration.