How spousal support works in Arizona

If you’re going through a divorce, dealing with both the emotions of a relationship and all that comes with as well as the legalities involved can be difficult and overwhelming.

One aspect you may be concerned with is spousal support — the money one of you pays to the other after the divorce. Spousal support is also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, this issue is sometimes overlooked in detail.

“Widespread misconceptions prevent many people in Arizona from getting alimony,” DeShon Laraye Pullen law firm says. “Both husbands and wives can seek alimony payments as part of their divorce proceedings. A person may receive spousal maintenance on a permanent or temporary basis.”

A judge will order alimony to spouses who are requesting it for several reasons. Some of these reasons include not enough property to provide for their needs, they aren’t able to provide for themselves even with a job, parenting responsibilities mean they cannot apply for a job or won’t earn enough, or the marriage was long and age prevents them from finding a job that pays enough.

Unlike child support, spousal support in Arizona isn’t determined by a set calculation.

“While Maricopa County had a formula at one time, the court ultimately rescinded its use since judges were not required to follow it,” DeShon Laraye Pullen says. “Instead, courts will look at a number of factors to determine the amount of alimony payments and how long those payments should continue.”

Those factors involve asking questions about your marriage and life after divorce:

  • How long were you married? What was your standard of living? How much did the spouse asking for support reduce their income and career opportunities to help the other person? Was there excessive spending, destruction, secrets, or fraud when it came to shared property?
  • How old is the spouse asking for support? What is their work history, earning ability, and physical and emotional condition? How much did they contribute to the other person’s earning ability? What are their financial resources, including property awarded in the divorce and the ability to earn enough to meet their needs independently? How much time will it take them to complete any training or education that will lead to an appropriate job?
  • What do your individual finances look like, and how much can you each earn? How much will health insurance cost each of you? Can the spouse paying support also meet their own needs? How much can each of you give to the future educational costs of your children?
  • What criminal convictions does either spouse have that victimized the other person or their child?

Once an amount is decided, the spouse providing alimony will either make a one-time payment or pay on an ongoing basis. Permanent alimony is less common but may be awarded when the spouse being supported is unable to work because of age or health. Either party can request a change if one of you marries, dies, or has a major adjustment in your circumstances.

Rather than trying to navigate the process alone, you can rely on the expertise of the experienced family law attorneys at DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC.

“Our attorneys understand the economic and emotional value of reaching an alimony settlement when appropriate,” the law firm says. “If an out-of-court settlement is not possible, we will use our litigation experience to fight for your best interests.”

For more information and to schedule a consultation, visit DeShonPullenLaw.com or call (602)252-1968.

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