While some divorces are planned, others occur unexpectedly, which sometimes leaves one person in the relationship without a plan in place on how they are going to survive financially. That is why courts will sometimes award alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, to that party for regular living expenses while they work on getting back on their feet. Sometimes this spousal maintenance, which is the term the state of Arizona uses as opposed to alimony, is paid in one lump sum or on a continues basis. However, not always will a dependent spouse be awarded these funds given they don’t meet the criteria to receive it.
Therefore, a court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse for any of the following reasons given there is a need for support for one spouse and the other has the ability to pay:
- The spouse lacks sufficient property, despite the fact that they may have received property as a part of the divorce agreement.
- Is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or has custody of a child whose age or medical condition requires their assistance and does permit them to work outside of the home.
- The spouse seeking spousal support contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.
- The spouse was married to their partner for a long period of time and has reached an age where they can no longer gain employment that would allow them to be self-sufficient.
Now, once a court determines that a spouse is entitled to collect spousal support, they will determine how much will be awarded and for how long. Some of the relevant factors the Arizona State Legislature says will be taken into consideration include:
- The standard of living that was established during the time the couple was married.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- The ability of the spouse that has been asked to pay spousal support to cover their own financial needs along with the spouse requesting the award.
- “The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.”
- “The contribution of the spouse who is seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.”
- The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse’s income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.
- Both parties ability to contribute to the future educational costs of their children.
- “The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse’s ability to meet that spouse’s own needs independently.”
- The time it will take the spouse seeking support to acquire sufficient education or training that will permit them to find work.
- “Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.”
- The cost of health insurance.
- Any damages and/or judgments from conduct that resulted in a criminal conviction of either spouse where the child was the victim.
Do you qualify for spousal maintenance? To find out, contact a Gilbert, AZ spousal support lawyer today.
If you are living in Gilbert, AZ and interested in learning more about obtaining spousal support, contact the family law attorneys at the Zachary Law Group at 480-389-3533. The truth is, not always will a spouse who qualifies for alimony, or spousal support, be awarded a fair amount so to be sure you are receiving what you deserve, you will want to have a Gilbert, AZ spousal support lawyer working beside you and protecting your interests.
You can reach the Zachary Law Group at:
625 N. Gilbert Road, #201
Gilbert, AZ 85234