Phoenix Alimony Lawyer serving Mesa, Chandler & Arizona.
Spousal maintenance, or alimony, as it is commonly referred to, is an order of the court requiring one spouse to make maintenance payments to the other spouse for a period of time. Arizona Revised Statute § 25-319(A) provides four factors for courts to consider when deciding whether to order spousal maintenance. Courts may order spousal maintenance for either spouse if he or she:
- Does not have enough property to meet his or her needs.
- Lacks self-sufficiency, earning capacity, or must remain at home to care for a child.
- Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.
- Has had a long marriage, and is of an age that may preclude him or her from gaining meaningful employment.
Courts consider a variety of factors when determining the amount and period of time for which to order alimony. One thing that courts do not consider when making this decision, however, is marital misconduct. Arizona Revised Statute § 25-319(B) lists the following factors as relevant to the decision:
- The standard of living that the spouse seeking maintenance has grown accustomed to.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet the spouse’s needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning power in the labor market.
- The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.
- The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced his or her income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.
- The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.
- The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse’s ability to meet his or her own needs independently.
- The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.
- Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.
- The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved.
- All actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim.
Parties to a divorce need a qualified family law attorney to help them apply this statute to their situation, and arrive at a fair amount for spousal maintenance. To speak with a qualified Arizona alimony attorney about spousal maintenance issues, call JacksonWhite at (480) 779-7972.