Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) in Arizona
Spousal maintenance, commonly known as alimony, is a crucial aspect of divorce cases in Arizona, outlined in A.R.S. 25-319. Here are the key points to understand:
A court can grant spousal maintenance if the spouse seeking it:
- Lacks sufficient property for their reasonable needs.
- Doesn’t have the earning ability in the job market to be self-sufficient.
- Is the parent of a child unable to seek employment.
- Has made significant contributions or sacrifices for the other spouse’s career.
- Faces difficulties securing adequate employment due to a lengthy marriage and age.
Guidelines for Determining Maintenance
The Arizona Supreme Court provides guidelines to assist the recipient in ultimately becoming self-sufficient. Courts typically adhere to these guidelines unless specific reasons are documented for not doing so.
Factors Considered for Determining Spousal Maintenance
Courts weigh various factors, including:
- Standard of living during the marriage.
- Duration of the marriage.
- Age, employment history, and physical/mental condition of the requesting spouse.
- The paying spouse’s capacity to meet their own needs while supporting the recipient.
- Relative financial resources and earning capacities of both spouses.
- Contributions to each other’s careers.
- Education costs for mutual children.
- Financial resources and self-sufficiency prospects of the requesting spouse.
- Time required for education/training to secure suitable employment.
- Any unusual property dealings.
- Health insurance expenses.
- Damages or judgments related to criminal conduct against the other spouse or child.
- Exclusion of Marital Misconduct
Maintenance orders can be modified unless both parties agree otherwise. Courts retain jurisdiction over maintenance issues for the awarded period, except in extraordinary circumstances.
Violation of Spousal Maintenance Order
A.R.S. 25-511.01 stipulates that a person obligated to pay spousal maintenance per a court-issued order can face a class 1 misdemeanor if they have notice of the order and willfully, without lawful excuse, fail to comply with its terms. Individuals who violate their spousal maintenance orders can face sanctions and jail time.
Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling cases that involve spousal maintenance. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.