Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is one of the most difficult topics to settle during a divorce. The goal of this support is to help a lower-earning spouse be able to find financial stability and to develop a career after a divorce so that no one is left destitute by the separation.
Temporary or permanent?
Most spousal support is temporary and meant to help a spouse get on his or her own feet. Other times, spousal support is lifetime, for example when the parties have been married for thirty or more years and one spouse has little to no earning capacity. Lifetime maintenance may also be awarded where a spouse is unable to work due to a chronic illness or injury.
Ordinarily, spousal maintenance is ordered for a certain number of months or years following a divorce. The courts view it as a way to pay for schooling or job training or to improve a spouse’s financial stability as they move from living married to living separately. Spousal maintenance lasts only as long as a judge determines unless the parties can agree on the length of the maintenance to be paid from one spouse to the other. Unlike child support there is no set formula for how much spousal maintenance will be paid.
Payments may end automatically if a spouse remarries or dies.
Who will pay?
In order to receive spousal maintenance it must be requested. It’s important to build a case for needing support and to show how your spouse has the ability to pay it. For example, you can show that:
- You lack sufficient property after the divorce
- Your employment is not sufficient to pay for basic needs
- You contributed to your spouse’s financial stability during marriage even when it meant reducing your own income or job opportunities
Find some support
When you feel like a divorce is bound to leave you in financial ruin it may be tempting to avoid the fees associated with retaining an attorney, but when it comes to the difficult issues like spousal maintenance it’s important to have someone on your side who you can trust. We’ll take the time to look at your situation, your assets, and your future plans and help you make a claim for spousal maintenance. Call us today to set up a consultation.
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.