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What factors determine spousal maintenance in Arizona?

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2022 | Divorce

Spousal support can be a much-needed support for spouses who are without a job or who have financial needs they cannot meet on their own following a divorce. Spousal support may also be used as a way to repay an ex-spouse who had invested their time and money into their spouse’s education to help increase their earning capacity.

In Arizona, the court may order spousal support or maintenance in a few cases. Whether you qualify for support or not will depend on if you can negotiate support with your spouse or get it awarded by a judge who agrees that it is necessary.

What kinds of factors are considered when determining if a person should receive alimony?

When the court is asked to determine if spousal support is necessary in an Arizona divorce, it may order support if:

  • One of the spouses is unable to be self-sufficient because they are a custodian of a child at an age where seeking employment would be unreasonable
  • One spouse can’t be self-sufficient based on their current employment
  • A spouse lacks earning abilities based on the current labor market
  • One spouse contributed financially, or through other means, to the educational opportunities of their spouse
  • The couple has been married for a long time and the spouse requesting support is old enough that it is unlikely that finding a job would allow them to become self-sufficient

The court has to look into factors such as the standard of living that the couple had together in their marriage as well as each person’s financial resources. The length of the marriage plays a role in how long support would be paid (if at all). If the couple has children, the ability of both parties to contribute to their children’s educations may be considered by the court, too.

Finally, the court will look at the requesting spouse’s situation and if they had reduced their own career opportunities or income for the betterment of their spouse in some way.

Spousal support isn’t always ordered, but there are times when it is necessary and warranted. Every case is different, so if you would like to seek spousal support, it’s a good idea to prepare a case to show why it would be helpful to you.