DEAR JEFF: I have a friend who got divorced a few months ago, and she told me she is receiving alimony. My understanding was that alimony is not allowed in Texas? Thanks, “Show Me The Money”

Dear “Show Me”: Spousal maintenance (which is what alimony is called in Texas), is only awarded in a very specific type of case, involving either a conviction for family violence, a disabled child that must be cared for by the spouse seeking support, a spouse who is disabled, or a long (more than 10 years) marriage in which there is a clear disparity in earning power such that one spouse cannot adequately support himself or herself.

Jeffrey Bates is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, but is not board certified in any area of specialty by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

This column is meant for general information and educational purposes only, and neither this column nor the transmittal of a legal question via email constitutes the creation of an attorney/client relationship between the reader and Jeffrey Bates and/or Southern Newspapers Inc. For specific advice regarding legal matters affecting you, consult an attorney.

To submit a question, send it via email to, or via regular mail to Ask the Lawyer, 101 S. First St., Lufkin 75901, or call 639-2900.