Alimony involves court-ordered payments paid by one former spouse for the support of the other. Potential divorce clients regularly inquire about their ability to receive alimony. Except for spousal maintenance, Texas courts are not authorized to order alimony. However, parties can agree to alimony payments as part of an agreement incident to divorce. By approving the agreement in the court’s decree, the court is not ordering prohibited alimony.
If the parties agree to contractual alimony, one spouse will pay the other a certain amount of money each month. If that spouse does not pay, the other party’s only recourse is to sue the former spouse for breach of contract.
Spousal maintenance differs from the standard idea of alimony in that it is generally only allowed for a short period of time and it is only available in very limited situations.