Mesa Spousal Support Attorney

20+ Years of Shared Experience in Family Law

Spousal support (also called spousal maintenance or alimony) is a set, monthly payment that some spouses can request in the aftermath of a divorce. Essentially, spousal support is used to help a spouse get back on his or her feet financially when the marriage is terminated. It is a helpful tool for spouses that were homemakers during the marriage or spouses that relied heavily upon their spouse's income to make ends meet financially.

Types of Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

Arizona family laws allow for several different kinds of spousal maintenance or alimony to be used for specific circumstances. All alimony is awarded at the discretion of a judge. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you build a case for a favorable alimony ruling.

The main types of alimony are:

  • Pendente Lite Maintenance
    This is spousal maintenance that is used during the limbo between filing for divorce and the final divorce decree. Spouses receiving pendente lite alimony must remember that it is temporary and will end as soon as the final order is entered. In some cases, a judge may order pendente lite alimony for a spouse after the divorce is declared to help that individual get back on his or her feet. The order may direct one spouse to pay the other a lump sum of money or a monthly amount.
  • Permanent Spousal Maintenance
    Permanent alimony is increasingly rare in Arizona, as most judges are starting to look at maintenance as a rehabilitative tool. In some marriages of long duration, the judge may declare that one spouse pay the other spouse monthly alimony without a set termination. While permanent spousal maintenance is indefinite, it will not necessarily last until the spouse passes away. If a spouse gets remarried or becomes financially stable, the alimony may be terminated. Permanent alimony is normally only used if a person is unable to become self-supporting due to age or disability.
  • Limited Alimony
    The courts can award limited alimony as a reimbursement to a spouse who contributed to the advanced education or the earning capacity of the other spouse. Normally, these payments will end after a short amount of time or after the amount of the financial contributions is repaid.

Are You Eligible for Maintenance?

The court must determine that you have a financial need before they will allow you to collect spousal maintenance. If a spouse is self-sufficient through employment, the courts often do not award alimony. However, if one spouse has custody of a disabled child or a very young child, the courts will take into account how this may affect the individual's ability to get a job. The courts will also consider whether or not an older spouse served as a homemaker and if this affects his or her ability to secure a job in the future.

The court will also consider the following questions:

  • Does the spouse have enough property after the division to provide for reasonable needs?
  • Can the spouse maintain a standard of living comparable to his or her post-divorce lifestyle?
  • Did one spouse contribute to the others educational opportunities?
  • Is one spouse unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment?

If you want more information about spousal maintenance, don't hesitate to contact our Mesa divorce attorneys today for more information. We can help you learn about the tax effects of spousal support, whether or not you qualify for spousal support, and approximately how much spousal support you may be required to pay. Having represented families in Mesa since 1997, we are prepared to provide the answers and counsel you need.

Call (480) 359-1334 today to learn more in an initial consultation!

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