How does someone get spousal support in Arizona?

Having a spouse is one of the most important parts of life. But when you get divorced, things can get complicated. One big thing to consider in your divorce is whether or not you will be receiving spousal support from your ex-spouse.  Although this may seem like an easy question, there are many factors that come into play and it’s best for you to consult with an attorney before deciding on how much support you’ll receive. This article gives some information about what Arizona law says about spousal support and who qualifies for it.

Spousal Support in Arizona

In Arizona, spousal support, or spousal maintenance is defined as financial compensation from one spouse to another for the purpose of assisting in their transition into a new life. In other words, it’s temporary financial assistance from your ex-spouse until you can become financially independent. The court can order spousal support for a certain period of time (temporary spousal support) or throughout your entire divorce case (permanent spousal support).

Temporary Spousal Support

Spousal support in Arizona is awarded on a temporary basis for a specific period of time. It can be modified or terminated at any point during this specified time frame given the proper circumstances and evidence. 

Permanent Spousal Maintenance

In general spousal maintenance is considered permanent spousal support, however, it is not always permanent. Permanent spousal maintenance can only occur in certain situations where one party becomes disabled or retired before reaching retirement age (age 55 if you’re still working). In addition, spousal maintenance ends when the payee spouse remarries unless ordered otherwise by the court. If spousal support continues after your ex-spouse has remarried, it’s usually because they become disabled or are unable to support themselves.

Purpose of Spousal Maintenance

The purpose of spousal maintenance is to ensure one spouse doesn’t become a financial burden on the other spouse and their children. If you’re living in Arizona, consult with an attorney today about spousal support so you can protect your interests.

Arizona spousal maintenance laws were written into place to provide fair treatment for both parties involved in a divorce case while taking into consideration the financial means, needs, and obligations of each party.   

First off, spousal maintenance will only be awarded if it’s considered to be reasonable under the circumstances. 

The court will consider several factors when determining whether spousal maintenance is reasonable including longevity of the marriage; property distribution; whether either spouse is at fault for the divorce and to what degree; each spouse’s ability to work; taxes; debts, including spousal debt; childcare costs; standard of living during the marriage; the age of each party (the longer you’re married, spousal maintenance will likely be more); physical and mental health of each party. The court also considers whether spousal maintenance is in the best interest of any children involved.

To determine spousal support payments from a spouse to their ex-spouse, you must have been married for 10 years or less.

If your marriage was between 10 years or more, spousal maintenance can only happen under certain circumstances such as when one spouse becomes disabled or has physical/mental impairments that prevent them from being self-sufficient or when spousal maintenance is in the best interest of any child involved. The longer you’re married, spousal maintenance will likely be more. Either way, spousal support payments can only come when a divorce is final and your marriage has already ended. 

The age of each party (the longer you’re married, spousal maintenance will likely be more). Your health/mental state at the time of the divorce also plays a role in spousal maintenance amount. In addition, spousal support can only be awarded if it’s considered to be fair under the circumstances and reasonable. Essentially if you don’t have other financial assets to survive on while divorcing and even after, spouse spousal support is a common spousal maintenance award. 

The purpose of spousal support is to ensure one spouse doesn’t become a financial burden on the other spouse and any children involved during the process of spousal support payments. If you’re living in Arizona, consult with an attorney today about spousal support so you can protect your interests.  

We know that this article may have raised some questions for you. Share your thoughts in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them!

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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