During your divorce, the decisions made on spousal maintenance can impact your financial future for years to come. Whether you are negotiating an out-of-court settlement with your spouse or you are going before a judge to decide on spousal maintenance, you need a qualified and experienced attorney to represent your interests.
At Singer, Pistiner, P.C. our Scottsdale, AZ family law professionals provide a personalized, simple and quick approach to assisting you throughout your divorce. Our goal is always to ensure you get the best outcome during the divorce process with the minimum of stress and expense. To learn more about how we can represent you on matters related to spousal maintenance as well as other issues in your divorce, give us a call or contact us online today.
Arizona Laws on Spousal Maintenance
A.R.S. §25-319 of the Arizona Code specifies when a court should grant spousal maintenance, or alimony, to one of the two spouses during a divorce. Under this law, the court may order spousal support if one spouse:
- Lacks sufficient property, including property received in the divorce settlement, to meet his or her reasonable needs.
- Is not able to become self-supporting through appropriate employment.
- Lacks the earning ability in the labor market to become self-supporting.
- Is caring for a child whose age or condition means that the caregiver shouldn’t get a job outside of the house.
- Contributed to the educational and career opportunities of the other spouse.
- Had a marriage of long duration and is now too old to enter the labor market and get a job to become self-sufficient.
Some of these factors are subjective issues and the person seeking support would need to demonstrate that his or her child requires in-home care or that he is not able to get a job that would pay enough to live on. The spouse who claims to have supported the education and career of the other may also need to provide proof of the extent of his contribution.
The more evidence you have to support your position and the more compelling the arguments, the greater the chances the judge will side with you on the issue of spousal support. Spouses both arguing for and against required spousal maintenance need to have their own experienced Scottsdale divorce and family law attorney who is prepared and ready to help them make their case.
Factors Determining the Amount of Maintenance
The same Arizona law also specifies the factors to consider in determining the amount of spousal maintenance to be paid. These factors include:
- The standard of living that was established while the couple was married.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- How old the spouse is seeking support.
- The earning ability, as well as the physical and emotional condition, of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- The ability of the spouse who would pay maintenance to provide for him/herself was well as his ex spouse.
- The comparative earning potential and financial resources of each spouse.
- The contributions the spouse seeking maintenance has made to the paying spouse, as well as the extent to which the recipient spouse’s own career potential has been reduced because of sacrifices made to support his/her husband or wife’s career.
- The ability of both spouses to contribute support to their shared children after divorce.
- Financial resources of the spouse who is seeking maintenance, including assets and money awarded in the divorce.
- The amount of time that would be necessary for the recipient spouse to earn education and training and become self-supporting.
- Whether either spouse has wasted or hidden marital property.
- The cost of health insurance for both spouses.
- Damages and costs from criminal convictions of either spouse in which the other spouse or the child was a victim.
Couples may also come to an agreement on spousal support on their own without putting the issue before a judge. However, before agreeing on any proposed divorce settlement, you should have a lawyer review it to ensure it is fair and reasonable under the law.
Singer Pistiner, P.C. has extensive experience representing clients on divorce and family law issues including matters related to spousal maintenance. Our spousal maintenance attorneys can help you to protect your financial future. Call or contact us online today to speak with a member of our legal team to learn more.