How Is Alimony Calculated in Arizona?
In Arizona, alimony is called spousal maintenance. When spouses separate or divorce, one party might not be able to pay the costs of basic living expenses. In that case, the judge might order the spouse who makes the higher income, regardless of whether it is the husband or the wife, to financially help the spouse who is the lower earner for at least a while. Let’s see how is alimony calculated in Arizona.
What Are the Different Kinds of Arizona Spousal Maintenance?
There are different kinds of spousal maintenance that might be awarded by a judge in Arizona. Temporary maintenance might be awarded pendente lite. This alimony is payable just during the divorce proceedings. When the judge enters the final order, temporary or permanent maintenance might be ordered. A judge might order one spouse to pay the other spouse a lump sum, but more often, a monthly amount is paid for a specific time frame. Permanent spousal maintenance is not as common as it once was.
Even if it was a longer marriage, courts now look at spousal maintenance as being rehabilitative. That means it is only temporary, offering help to a spouse so he or she can find a job or pursue an education or training to improve odds of employment opportunities. In some situations, limited maintenance might be awarded as reimbursement to the spouse who contributed to the other spouse’s earning capacity and educational opportunities. Usually, permanent maintenance is only awarded in cases where one spouse is not able to become self-supporting because of age or disability. Even if the marriage was long-lasting, permanent maintenance is not awarded in most cases.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for Spousal Maintenance?
A court must determine that one spouse has a financial need while the other can pay funds to the other. The court might determine that there is a need if one spouse does not have enough property, even after marital property has been distributed, to provide for his or her needs. If one spouse contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse that is also considered. Also, if the court determines one spouse is not able to be self-sufficient through employment.
To determine if a spouse can be self-sufficient through work, the judge will consider several different things. Among the things the judge will look at the spouse’s existing experience and skills as well as the current labor market. Older spouses who have served as homemakers during long marriages are given special consideration. Age and years out of employment can make it difficult to seek gainful employment that supports a lifestyle comparable to that lived and enjoyed during the marriage. If a spouse cares for a disabled child or very young child might not be required to seek employment outside the home because of the child’s needs.
Factors that are given consideration for the alimony calculated in Arizona:
- The financial resources and earning abilities of both parties
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living during marriage
- Age, educational background, emotional state, physical condition, employment history, and earning abilities of the party asking for maintenance
- The ability for one spouse to pay
- Financial resources and earning abilities of both spouses
- Extent to which reduction in income or career opportunities of the spouse seeking maintenance has helped the other spouse
- The ability of both spouses to contribute to the future educational costs of their children
- Other financial resources accessible to meet the needs of the spouse asking for maintenance including the division of marital property