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How Does an Arizona Court Determine Alimony?
Alimony is money that is paid by one spouse on a regular basis, or in one lump sum, to a former spouse as a result of a court order or agreement by the parties after a divorce. Also referred to as spousal support or maintenance, alimony is intended to preserve the economic status of both parties, as it existed during the marriage. An Arizona court may place a lien on the separate property of each party – or on marital property awarded during the divorce proceedings – in order to secure payments of an allowance of alimony.
Under Arizona law, either spouse may petition the court for alimony. Across the nation, women are no longer favored or at an advantage over men when it comes to alimony. Instead, the higher earning spouse will typically be required to pay alimony to the lower income earner if the supported spouse can show a reasonable financial need. It is important to know that alimony is not required in every divorce.
Unlike other states, Arizona does not have a specific formula for calculating alimony. Instead, a judge will look at several factors before determining alimony is appropriate.
Specifically, a judge may examine:
- the length of the marriage; each spouse’s age, health, and physical capabilities;
- the paying spouse’s ability to pay;
- the standard of living enjoyed during the matrimony;
- the employment history, earning ability, education and training of the spouse requesting support;
- each spouse’s financial resources and earning capacity;
- contributions by the spouse seeking support to the other spouse’s earning ability;
- each spouse’s ability to provide for the child/ren’s future educational expenses;
- access to financial resources – including any property awarded during the divorce – by the support seeking spouse;
- damages, if any, from either spouse’s conduct resulting in a criminal conviction; and
- each spouse’s excessive spending, destruction or concealment of marital assets or gambling, if any.
Generally, alimony will likely be awarded to a spouse who is unable to support him or herself through employment, lacks sufficient property, contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse, or who was in a long-term marriage and is of the age that makes it difficult to be employed.
Tempe Divorce Attorney
Every case is has a unique set of circumstances that is just as different as the parties involved. As such, a seasoned divorce attorney should conduct a thorough analysis of your case if you or someone you know has questions about alimony in Arizona. Contact the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack at (480) 345- 2652 or click here today to schedule an initial case evaluation.