The dissolution of a marriage is never an easy process to navigate due to the financial and emotional challenges involved. During the process of divorce, one of the biggest areas of contention involves determining if one spouse should have to pay alimony to the other one.
When it comes to alimony, on the one hand, you may be worried that you have to pay more than what you believe is reasonable. On the other hand, you might be concerned about not getting enough from your future ex-spouse. Understanding Arizona law regarding spousal maintenance is critical in either situation to ensure that you and the other party attain a fair outcome.
Alimony exists in an effort to limit the inequitable impacts of divorce from an economic standpoint. With alimony, one spouse -- the one who earned less money or who did not earn a wage at all -- can receive income from the other spouse. In this way, the spouse who is at an economic disadvantage due to deciding to give up a career to stay home with the children, for example, can receive financial support while working on developing the skills needed to be self-sufficient.
Arizona Revised Statute 25-319 outlines the qualifying factors required to receive alimony. The presence of these factors is necessary before the calculation of your alimony amount and duration can take place. You can qualify for spousal maintenance by meeting one of the following:
- You will be unable to find employment that will pay enough for you to support yourself.
- The amount of property that you expect to receive in the divorce will not meet your reasonable needs.
- You have a young child who is not yet in the school, and when you factor in the costs of daycare or other special costs associated with caring for a child, you would not be able to support yourself.
- Your marriage was a lengthy one (for instance, spanning 20 to 30 years or more), and you have few skills or no skills because you stayed home for to care for your spouse and children.
After you qualify for spousal maintenance, the court will analyze multiple factors, such as your age and earning ability, to determine how much you will receive and for how long. You have the right to pursue a decision that will ultimately be in your best interest, so it may be helpful to have the advice and assistance of someone experienced in these matters to advocate for you.