Spousal maintenance (known also as alimony) is payments to a spouse or former spouse to help him or her maintain an adequate standard of living during and after a divorce until such time as that spouse can provide for his/her own reasonable needs. In Arizona, a spouse may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance if any of the following apply:
- He or she does not have enough property (such as cash or assets) and is not receiving enough property in the divorce to reasonably be able to support him or herself.
- The spouse is unable to get a job, or a job that pays enough, in order to be financially self-sufficient.
- The spouse is the legal custodian of a child who is young or has special needs so that working outside the home is not appropriate.
- He or she helped the wealthier spouse obtain educational opportunities or build a professional practice or business. For example, if the wife supported the family so the husband could get a medical degree or the husband supported the family while the wife opened a law practice, the spouse who supported the family could be entitled to maintenance.
- The couple has been married a long time and the spouse seeking maintenance is at an age or has a disability where finding a job that will allow him or her to be self-supporting is very difficult or impossible.
Spousal maintenance can be set as a temporary order that lasts only during the court proceedings, for a specific period of time after the divorce or separation is finalized, or can be established to last for an indefinite period of time. In any event if the spouse receiving spousal maintenance dies or remarries, the spousal maintenance ceases by operation of law.
There is no specific rule as to how long you must be married to receive maintenance, but in general, the longer the marriage, the higher the likelihood of an award if the spouse meets any of the foregoing criteria.
The court considers a variety of factors when deciding an amount to set for maintenance. Some of the factors include the length of marriage, work history of both parties, the lifestyle acquired during the marriage and other factors.
If you are seeking maintenance in Arizona or think you might have to pay it, make an appointment now with the Sampair Group. We’re here to protect your financial interests throughout your divorce.