Some couples put off getting divorced long after a marriage is “over” due to the fear of spousal maintenance. There is no doubt that this is a complicated issue and there are many factors that go into calculating spousal maintenance in Arizona.
Not every divorce includes spousal maintenance. One or both spouses must ask for it to be considered by the court.
Reasons for seeking spousal maintenance:
- Spouse does not have property or funds to be able to provide for their own needs once a divorce happens.
- Spouse’s current employment is not enough to be self-sufficient and they lack the skills or experience to earn more OR the spouse is currently caring for a child whose age or abilities prevents the parent from working outside the home.
- The spouse seeking maintenance contributed a significant amount of time or funds toward the educational and career opportunities of the other that significantly reduced the ability of the spouse seeking maintenance to obtain income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other higher wage-earning spouse.
- The marriage lasted a long time and now the spouse’s age may preclude them from gaining employment.
There’s not a one-size fits all approach to spousal maintenance. In general the courts will look at the difference in income between the two spouses and then award the lower-earning spouse an amount that the judge feels is reasonable under the circumstances, if the judge feels that spousal maintenance is needed.
Judges will consider many different factors and ultimately it may be up to the spouse’s attorneys to argue their case.
Factors that will be considered:
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Age, employment experience and emotional and physical condition of the spouse asking for support
- Ability of the spouse to provide support
- Financial resources of both partners
- Contributions of one spouse to elevate the earning ability or career opportunities of the other (ie: support through school, assistance starting a business, etc.)
- Ability of both spouses to provide for their children
- Any property owned by either spouse that may help them provide for themselves
- The time necessary for the spouse seeking spousal maintenance to get the training necessary for employment
- Any damage or concealment of property
- Health insurance costs and availability of both spouses
In most cases spousal support is set for a certain period of time, giving the spouse asking for support time to get back on their feet or find a new source of income.
If you are concerned about spousal support, it’s a good idea to seek counsel from an experienced attorney. We can walk you through the issues and help ensure a fair outcome.
Pangerl Law Firm P.L.L.C. focuses on divorce, child custody, mother’s and father’s rights, child support, and all other areas of family law, as well as personal injury claims. Our office is located in Deer Valley and serves the greater Phoenix area, including the communities of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Cave Creek, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Anthem, New River, North Phoenix and Phoenix. For more information, call: 602-942-6200.