Recently passed HB 867 & 851 will put limits on the amounts individuals seeking to modify the amount of maintenance (aka "alimony") a former spouse will be able to get.
The new law, which takes effect on September 1, 2021, says that an individual "may not increase maintenance to an amount or duration that exceeds the amount or remaining duration of the original maintenance order." (TFC 8.057(c)).
The new law essentially makes it impossible to increase the amount of court-ordered maintenance in the future and makes it impossible to extent the period of the maintenance award.
This is yet another example of how disfavored the concept of post-divorce payments to former spouses is in Texas. Also, this change in the law should be carefully observed by parties who are contemplating contractual alimony and who may be considering a lesser amount in the hopes they can modify it to a higher amount in the future. Do not believe anyone who tells you that you can always ask for more in the future. This new law will prevent that. What you agree to now ,in both amount and duration, will remain the most you can get through the Texas courts.
Also note that this new limitation applies regardless of whether the order was rendered before, on, or after September 1, 2021.
If you are involved in, or a thinking about, a League City divorce and you have any questions about spousal maintenance, please reach out to us.
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Attorney Sean Y. Palmer has over 20 years of legal experience as a Texas Attorney and over 25 years as a Qualified Mediator in civil, family and CPS cases. Palmer practices exclusively in the area Family Law and handles Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Adoptions, and other Family Law Litigation cases. He represents clients throughout the greater Houston Galveston area, including: Clear Lake, NASA, Webster, Friendswood, Seabrook, League City, Galveston, Texas City, Dickinson, La Porte, La Marque, Clear Lake Shores, Bacliff, Kemah, Pasadena, Baytown, Deer Park, Harris County, and Galveston County, Texas.