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What Is Spousal Maintenance

In Arizona, the law acknowledges that marriages are essentially partnerships and even though one party may not have worked outside the home, the law presumes that this spouse still contributed equally to the marriage in other ways.

The other ways a spouse may have contributed to the marriage, include but are not limited to, child rearing, managing the household, and providing physical and emotional support to the wager earner.

The award of spousal maintenance is a two step process: first a determination of whether an award is appropriate is made and then for how much and how long. The determination of whether an award is appropriate is made by whether the asking spouse meets any one (not all) of the following requirements:

  1. That they lack sufficient property to provide for themselves;
  2. That they are unable to support themselves through employment;
  3. The marriage is one of long duration; or
  4. That party contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.

In determining the amount and duration of the support, the court will consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  2. The duration of the marriage;
  3. The age, employment history, earning ability, and the physical and emotional health of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  4. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs while also meeting the needs of the spouse seeking the maintenance award;
  5. The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities;
  6. The contributions, if any, of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.
  7. The extent, if any, to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced their own income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse;
  8. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to such party, and such party’s ability to meet their needs independently.

Experienced Arizona Family Lawyers Can Help

If you need legal assistance with a divorce, child custody, legal separation agreement or other family law disputes, the experienced divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group can help. The firm has offices in Peoria and Mesa, AZ. Contact the firm for a free consultation today.

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