Once a couple has decided to divorce spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is one of the most immediate tasks at hand. Although the couples are not yet divorced, a court can still order a temporary spousal support schedule. After this, a substantial part of the divorce negotiation process is deciding on what spousal support will look like once the divorce is final.
In each marriage, there is one spouse whose income is greater and has become a larger part of supporting the household. Once the couple decides to separate, the spouse with the smaller income is at risk of suffering financially with the decrease of monetary resources. For this reason, spousal support is ordered by the court and this way couples are still living the same quality of life if they were still married.
Reasons Spousal Support Can Be Ordered
The state of Arizona has an outline of reasons why a court can order a spousal maintenance schedule. Arizona Revises Statute 25-319 categorizes the reasons being:
- If after the division of property has been decided and one spouse is lacking sufficient property to provide for their own reasonable needs, then the other spouse can be ordered support in order to compensate for this.
- If the spouse is not able to be self-sufficient and would not be able to adequately support themselves because of this
- If the person is not able to able to provide for themselves at the level that their spouse was providing
- If the children of the marriage are of an age or have a condition that requires the parent to stay home and care for them instead of working
- If the person invested in the spouse’s education and supported them during that time.
- The marriage was of long duration and the person is of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.
Factors Considered in Arizona
If you know that you meet one or more the state requirements, consulting an Arizona family law attorney to calculate the proper spousal maintenance can help increase the success of a case. While understanding what can be calculated is beneficial to the person getting divorced, an attorney is knowledgeable in how a judge analyzes information and how to properly gauge the worth of each unique financial situation of both spouses. There is no set formula in the state of Arizona that a court follows, but do have a set of factors that must be considered which are:
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- 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 that spouse’s needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities 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 that spouse’s 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 that spouse’s 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.
JacksonWhite family law attorneys are able to study each of these factors and apply them to your case to create an outcome that best suits the situation.
Types of Spousal Support
Not all spousal support is created equal. There are different types of spousal support that are meant to fit the needs of different divorce situations.
Long-Term Spousal Support
This is the type that commonly comes to mind when thinking of spousal support. There are situations in which a person in the marriage dedicated themselves to keeping the home or fully invested their time in raising the family’s children. These circumstances have kept them out of the job market for a long time and finding employment that would maintain their standard of living is not probable. The spouse that was the primary financial provider is then responsible for the other spouse’s expenses.
Once the divorce has been finalized, this type of support is meant as a financial assistance to the spouse. Having a temporary fund will help the person to stay afloat while they find a proper job or have received an education that will help them be more attractive to employers. This is a common way to go when the marriage was relatively short, and each person’s wealth was not as tied to the others as seen in longer marriages.
This is when one spouse is returning the money that the other spouse would not have normally spent had they been single on larger ticket items. An example of this could be paying for their education or the cost of relocation because of the spouse’s wishes.
Extenuating circumstance may qualify you for certain types of support without realizing it. This is where having our strong team of attorneys can bring their skills provides you with experienced understanding of Arizona family law courts.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.