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I Can’t Afford the Alimony my Ex-Wife Wants. What are my Legal Options?

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

My Ex-wife Wants to Live off of my Alimony but I Can’t Afford That.


What are my Legal Options?

Divorce can put a huge emotional strain on a family. One particularly stressful component of this process is the potential payment of alimony. While some couples may develop agreements in order to settle any financial issues, many divorces end in a myriad of issues that could place your assets at risk. Some divorcees may be asked to increase their spousal support so that the other party can remained unemployed or underemployed. It is important for all recently-divorced people to understand their options when being asked to increase alimony payments.

The Basics of Alimony

There are a wide variety of factors that a judge or mediator might consider when determining the total amount of child and spousal support that must be paid. When first discussing the marital settlement agreement, the spouses and their legal representatives will be presented with a number of options, including the prospective size of monthly payments and the date when alimony payments will cease. During these agreements, one or both of the spouses may wish to include provisions in which alimony can be altered, including situational conditions, such as unemployment. If provisions were not made for these events, the calculations used to determine the amount of alimony could result in higher payments due to the more marked difference between the spouses’ respective incomes.

Alimony Based on Needs

For most couples, spousal support will be based on how much each spouse makes, their assets before and after marriage, and the overall cost of living. If your ex-spouse becomes unemployed and demands an increase in alimony, you should immediately contact an attorney to discuss your options. If there are no stipulations about unemployment, the payments will often become more expensive by default. This increase in payments is even likelier if your spouse has physical custody of any children you may share.

No one should ever leave their finances up to chance when a divorce is being discussed. It is highly recommended that a couple speak with an attorney to form a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. These agreements are especially important for couples with higher net worth, greater assets in their names, or ownership of companies in their names. It is also important for individuals to seek out an experienced attorney if they believe they may be paying too much spousal support, especially if their ex-spouse is requesting higher payments.

Answers For Your Alimony Questions

If you have questions concerning alimony or spousal support, please call us at 602-870-9700 (Phoenix) or 480-985-4000 (Mesa) and request a consultation today.

Alimony Factors in Arizona Law


The information contained on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice concerning your individual situation. We welcome you to contact us via phone, electronic mail, or through this website. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send us confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship is established.



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