5 Common Misconceptions About Alimony in Arizona

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The attorneys at GillespieShields practice family, employment, civil, criminal, probate, appellate, and immigration law.

When a person is truly unhappy in their marriage, they should not stay in it. Unfortunately, many people do this because they believe in common divorce myths. With this erroneous information, they believe they are compelled to stay. It’s time to dispel some of these myths so that people can make an informed decision about how to proceed with their marriage.

Separate Bank Accounts Protect Both Parties

The first thing a person should understand is that having separate bank accounts does not imply having separate finances. Any money earned during the marriage is considered joint property in the state of Oklahoma, and the court determines a fair division of assets, including these accounts. When a person has questions about property division, child visitation rights, child custody attorneys, divorce, and paternity, they should consult with a family law attorney or divorce lawyers in Sugar Land to ensure the information they are receiving is correct and they are not being misled by a myth.

Mothers Always Get Custody

Men frequently do not fight for custody of their children because they believe the mother is automatically granted custody. This is not true. When a court decides who will have physical and legal custody of the children, the best interests of the children are considered. When the father has been the primary caregiver, he is more likely to be granted custody so that the children’s lives are less disrupted. Other factors come into play at this point, but the best interests of the child remain the top priority.

One Partner is at Fault in the Divorce

Every marriage has two parties, and both must accept their share of the blame in the event of a divorce. While this could simply be a result of the individuals growing apart, it must be determined what contributed to this. If neither person takes a long, hard look at how they contributed to the marriage’s demise, they may repeat the same mistakes in subsequent relationships. This is just one of many reasons why second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages, and there are many more.

Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about divorce. Discover the truth for yourself. Once you’ve done that, you might realize it’s time to call it quits on an unsatisfactory relationship. Only you know what is best given the circumstances.

Child Support Is Necessarily Paid By Fathers

Payments for child support can be made by either party, regardless of gender. However, according to Census Bureau data, custodial parents have become more likely to be fathers over the last 24 years, rising from 16.0 percent in 1994 to 20.1 percent in 2018.

Many people believe that fathers always pay child support, but this is not true. Regardless of gender, the custodial parent of a minor child has more than one option for collecting child support payments from non-custodial parents. According to Census Bureau statistics on family law, mothers are more likely to receive alimony/spousal support payments in divorce or separation court cases, with only about 20% of all cases resulting in fathers paying spousal support.


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What Constitutes a Change in Circumstance?

When one party remarries, the spousal maintenance is almost always terminated. At that point, the parties getting married have assumed each other’s obligations and benefits, and forcing a former partner to continue to pay would be unjust.

Death is typically regarded as a final and significant enough change in circumstances to result in the termination of an alimony order.

The courts in Arizona have not ruled that a simple change in circumstances, such as one former spouse moving in with a new partner, is sufficient to modify or terminate a spousal maintenance award. Cohabitation is the term used to describe this situation. The courts in Arizona have ruled that it is not unfair for a former spouse to continue paying support to a former partner who is now cohabiting with a new partner.

A change in income is the second most commonly cited reason for modifying spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is intended to correct inequality, and once the inequality is eliminated, the remedy is no longer required. Even if you are unable to cancel the order, you may be able to reduce the amount of the order.

The Changing Landscape of Spousal Maintenance or “Alimony” in Arizona

There have been several changes over the years that have resulted in various types of awards. Traditionally, men provided for their families while women stayed at home and cared for the children, and when the couple divorced, the women frequently needed assistance to re-enter the labor force. Many women had never considered the possibility of having to work.

Nowadays, women are often self-sufficient professionals who earn more than their husbands, who may be at home caring for the children. Because of differences in situation and circumstance, more women than ever before are paying spousal support to men.

Of course, there have been changes as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage. After a divorce in Arizona, the person earning more may be required to pay spousal support to the other partner.

Are You Looking for a Family Law Attorney You Can Trust?

The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes, and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. We believe in giving families peace of mind no matter their situation, and we fight hard to maintain that peace. Whether you’re filing for dissolution or divorce, determining custody of your children, or thinking about adopting children, our experienced attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.  During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer and all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!


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