Some people believe that when they get divorced, they’ll be receiving a check from their ex each month in perpetuity. This is not true. In fact, in Arizona, you are not entitled to alimony (also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support). You bear the burden of proving your should receive alimony from your ex-spouse. Here are some other important facts you need to know about alimony /spousal maintenance in Arizona.
Length of the Marriage is Important to a Court
If you and your spouse were married for six months, do not expect to receive much alimony. Arizona courts place an emphasis on the duration of your marriage when assessing whether to award spousal maintenance. In fact, judges in Arizona often consider a marriage that lasted less than ten years to be marriages a “short” marriage. This determination may result in a narrower duration of any spousal maintenance award and a potentially lesser amount when compared to a divorcing couple who had been married for fifteen or twenty years.
Marriages that lasted fifteen years or longer are considered to be “long term” which may result in larger alimony award for a longer period of time. It is in this scenario, a long-term marriage, where an indefinite award of alimony may be considered. Though, indefinite alimony awards are the exception rather than the rule. The spouse seeking an indefinite award, typically, is someone who dedicated their life to managing the household and did not participate in the workforce thereby resulting in them being virtually unemployable post-divorce. Or, the spouse seeking such an award may have certain health conditions making the award necessary to survive.
In most cases, alimony is awarded for a finite period of time and is for a reasonable sum based on both parties income. Also, alimony automatically terminates if your ex-spouse passes on or if you decide to get married to another individual.
Alimony is Considered Taxable Income
Another fact that may surprise people is that alimony is taxable as income. Indeed, it is subject to both federal and state taxation. You are responsible for paying taxes on that income. You may also be unaware of the fact that the spouse paying the alimony can deduct it from their taxes.
College Costs Not Considered in Alimony Calculation
If you and your ex-spouse have a child, the cost of college is an issue you need to raise during the divorce proceedings. Arizona courts do not have the authority to order you or your ex to pay college expenses after your child turns eighteen years old. You need to raise this issue with your ex-spouse and try to reach an amicable agreement on how college will be paid for.
Phoenix Spousal Support Lawyer
As you can see, receiving an alimony award can get complicated. That is why you should retain the services of an experienced Phoenix spousal support attorney. The Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack works to help you and your spouse come to an agreement on spousal support without going to court, saving you time and money. However, a mutual agreement through negotiation is not always possible. In this case, your lawyer will be prepared to litigate aggressively for your best interests. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling 480-345-2652.