“It is better to have a permanent income

than to be fascinating.”

Oscar Wilde

  In the state of Arizona and now in other parts of the country, most judges see spousal support as the momentum toward self-sufficiency – a bridge to a new life, so to speak. Because of this new posture towards alimony, we are seeing less and less cases of permanent or long-term spousal support. There are a few exceptions to this trend as permanent spousal support is still a viable option in some situations. Permanent alimony is increasingly rare in Arizona, as most judges are starting to look at maintenance as a rehabilitative tool. In some marriages of long duration, the judge may declare that one spouse pay the other spouse monthly alimony without a set termination.

If The Marriage Was Particularly Long

When the marriage has lasted for several years (generally speaking, 10 years or more) a judge may decide to award long-term support. Particularly if it is established that one spouse sacrificed education and career for the benefit of the home and family life. For example, the judge may consider the length of the marriage and award permanent support on behalf of the spouse.

If One Spouse Contributed Towards Advancing The Other Spouse’s Education

Working toward dreams and goals is a team effort in marriage. Sometimes this means spouses choose to invest substantial money into the education of the other spouse. If that marriage is headed for divorce, the investment may be returned at such a rate that it will take the rest of that spouse’s life to pay. The judge may see long-term support as a reasonable order in such a case.

If Disability Means One Spouse Is Unable To Become Self-Supporting

Disability issues are more likely to see a permanent spousal support award than the two previously mentioned scenarios. When one spouse is simply unable to be self-supportive after divorce due to a disability, a judge will likely see this as a legitimate reason to make support ongoing and permanent.

If Age Is A Prohibitive In One Spouse Becoming Self-Supporting

Similar to the disability reasoning, if a couple gets divorced at an elderly age and the lower income spouse does not have the time or ability to work toward self-sufficiency, permanent support may be awarded.

When “Permanent” Does Not Mean “Permanent”

When a judge chooses to award permanent spousal maintenance, it will be considered indefinite. However, this does not mean it cannot change. If the awarded spouse remarries or finds financial stability through some other means, the support may be discontinued.

Uniquely Experienced Arizona Family Law Attorney

At The Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack, we handle all aspects of family law cases including divorce mediation, child custody, child support, and alimony. Attorney Ronald Kossack and the entire staff at the firm will do all they can to ensure that your emotional needs are met, while they work toward a positive resolution in your case. Schedule your free initial consultation online or simply give us a call anytime at 480-345-2652 to discuss your story with an experienced Arizona lawyer, and contact us online.