Calculating Spousal Support In Arizona: A General Guide

calculatorDivorce has become more common in the United States over the past few decades. Many more couples are choosing to move their lives in new directions and dissolve their marriage for various reasons. In fact, statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show that America has the highest divorce rate of any nation.

Several important decisions follow filing for divorce. Couples must appropriate their personal and marital property, decide how to care for children, as well as decide personal living arrangements. However, another important question to consider is whether either partner will be able to provide for themselves.

Arizona has developed specific spousal support/maintenance (alimony) laws to resolve this very issue.

Arizona's Spousal Support Calculation

Spouses and their attorneys must first determine whether spousal maintenance is necessary. If they so determine, next the parties must decide how much is to be given and for how long. If no agreement can be reached, however, judicial intervention is needed.

Arizona courts consider several factors — as dictated by statute — before granting alimony:

  • Whether a spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs
  • The ability of the requesting spouse to be self-sufficient through employment
  • Contributions made by one spouse to the educational opportunities of the other
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage

A court will consider other aspects in addition to these factors, but this list should shed light on what a judge will base his or her decision on.

Additional Alimony Advice

The first step to receiving alimony is to have an experienced divorce attorney negotiate its inclusion in a separation or settlement agreement. If negotiations prove fruitless, however, then the attorney will file a petition with the court.

Many men do not realize they may be eligible for alimony payments. Many hold the belief that spousal support is only granted to women, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, because many women are now the primary income earners in relationships, more and more men are requesting alimony than in the past.

Finally, due to Arizona's No Fault divorce statute, the fault of either party is not considered when determining alimony (unless otherwise agreed to by the parties). Anyone having questions regarding spousal support payments in Arizona — or concerning divorce in general — should speak with a qualified family law attorney.