How Long Do I Have to Pay Spousal Support in Arizona?
Alimony or spousal maintenance is one of the most contested aspects of a divorce. The primary provider is not eager to lose a big portion of their income. But, on the other hand, the spouse who sacrificed career progression to raise the children and maintain the household, will have the challenge to get back to work and might struggle to enjoy a normal life as they did before.
When people divorce, the goal is that both sides have a fair accord. The courts are mainly more concerned with helping the spouse who sacrificed their career progression.
Determining Spousal Maintenance
Arizona law leaves a large amount of discretion with the presenting judge when it comes to determining spousal maintenance. This is an effort to keep things fair for both sides.
No two judges who’re looking at the same case will bring the same conclusions. This is why it’s difficult to accurately predict spousal maintenance.
When determining the duration and amount of spousal maintenance, judges in Arizona will require to consider these things:
- A history of lavish spending, concealment, destruction, or fraudulent disposition of joint property
- Both spouses’ joined ability to finance future educational costs for their children
- Damages and judgments from a spouse’s conduct that ended with a criminal conviction (in case the other spouse or a child was the victim)
- Both spouse’s age, physical and mental condition, employment history, and earning power
- Both spouse’s personal financial sources and property (including an award of community property)
- The standard of living of the couple
- Health insurance costs
- How long the marriage lasted
- The supporting spouse’s ability to meet both spouses’ financial needs
- Training and educational opportunities that are open to help the spouse become financially independent (including the time needed to complete these opportunities)
- The degree to which one spouse helped the other by reducing their career possibilities or income
- If the spouse is seeking alimony contributes to the other spouse’s earning power (are the spouses’ business partners?
Of all these contributing factors are the two largest factors are the length of the marriage and each spouse’s personal finances and circumstances. The other factors are also important, these two have the biggest impact in determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance.
Length of Marriage
The state of Arizona does not require a minimum time period for spousal maintenance. You could get married and divorced within one year and still get spousal maintenance in Arizona.
The duration of the marriage has a significant impact on the potential length of time that one of the spouses is required to pay spousal maintenance. In general, most spousal maintenance orders have a duration of 30% to 50% of the marriage duration. In case you were married for ten months, the spousal maintenance will last 3-5 months. A marriage of ten years will bring 3-5 years of spousal maintenance.
Personal Finances and Circumstances
Arizona is a rehabilitate state when it comes to alimony. which means that the purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the other spouse become self-sufficient and financially stable after the divorce. The value of each spouse’s personal income and property has a big impact on the value and endurance of the alimony. The court will also analyze personal factors such as whether the spouse has a college degree, certifications, or any advanced training, that would help them to return to the workforce fast.
If you have any question, please contact our office.