Alimony Versus Post-Marital Maintenance

In Texas, there are differences between alimony and post-marital maintenance that many people either do not understand or have questions about.


As a tax planning device, alimony is described in the Internal Revenue Service tax code; it allows spouses to agree on post-divorce support that terminates on the death of the receiving party. Alimony can be terminated at any time, but the overall goal is to provide ongoing support for a spouse who does not earn income. The secondary consideration is that it is taxable for the receiving party and deductible for the wage earner, giving each side a tax benefit.

This is of use in divorces with asset values in companies or other assets that may not create enough residual income to meet minimum living expenses.

Post-Marital Maintenance:

In contrast to alimony, maintenance is available when parties are married for a decade or more. This allows for "stair steps" that gradually taper off. The major consideration of maintenance, unlike alimony, is that it cannot be enforced by contempt. In addition, alimony is contractual, whereas post-marital maintenance is a court order.

Attorney Richard T. Bell and our team at Richard T. Bell & Associates, P.C., are ready to bring more than 15 years of experience to help you address any alimony or maintenance concern.

Sugar Land lawyer Richard T. Bell can address any alimony versus post-marital maintenance concerns. We do our best to resolve disputes as quickly, effectively and amicably as possible. To schedule a meeting, call 832-500-7568 or contact our Sugar Land office online.

Written by the Office of Richard T. Bell