The decision to divorce is seldom an easy one to make — and then comes the divorce process. Getting a divorce can be daunting, perhaps leaving you at a loss concerning how to proceed. Before entering into divorce negotiations, you may benefit from obtaining legal advice from an experienced Mesa divorce attorney. Some understanding of applicable laws concerning alimony may be beneficial to you in your negotiations.
In Arizona, alimony — also called spousal maintenance — is a matter on which the courts make the final decision. The process followed to decide if you or your spouse may qualify for spousal maintenance requires that two issues be addressed. First, it must be decided if you or your spouse are entitled to maintenance under the law. If so, an amount can then be calculated, as well as the period the maintenance must be paid.
In considering if you or your spouse are entitled to alimony, the court considers how long your marriage has lasted and what each of you earn. Although Arizona courts generally do not award spousal maintenance when a marriage lasted less than five years, this is not always the case. The decision about whether spousal maintenance should be paid mostly depends on what the court considers as reasonable needs. When considering the request for spousal maintenance, courts look at factors such as:
- living arrangements;
- employment prospects;
- special parenting requirements; and/or
- financing partner’s studies.
Once it has been established that you or your partner are entitled to spousal maintenance, a court order will set the amount considered as fair, as well as the period of time the money must be paid. Once again, many factors are considered, such as the standard of living maintained, how long the marriage lasted, how your financial resources compare to that of your spouse and more. Thus, before negotiations start between the two of you, a consultation with a family law attorney may benefit you. The assistance of an experienced family law attorney can help secure an award of alimony when warranted.
Source: azcde.com, “Spousal Maintenance“, Jan. 12, 2015