How Do Arizona Divorce Courts Determine Spousal Maintenance?

Either spouse in a divorce proceeding may seek spousal maintenance, better known as alimony, based on financial need. If a spouse lacks sufficient resources to provide for his or her reasonable expenses or is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment, that spouse may be awarded support.

A court deciding on spousal maintenance also looks at whether one of the spouses has custody of a child whose age or condition is such that the parent needs to stay at home to provide care. If one spouse has made a significant financial contribution to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning ability of the other spouse, the court may order the benefitting spouse to reimburse the contributing spouse in the form of spousal maintenance. The same may be true if one spouse has significantly reduced his or her income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other.

The court also considers many other factors when determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance. These include:

  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age, employment history and earning ability of both spouses
  • The financial resources of the spouses
  • The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children
  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, and whether such education or training is readily available
  • Excessive or abnormal expenditures, as well as either spouse’s destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of property held in common
  • Health insurance costs for the spouse seeking maintenance
  • Actual damages recovered due to conduct that resulted in the criminal conviction of either spouse, where the other spouse or a child was the victim

A court determines spousal maintenance on a case-by-case basis, so a person seeking or being charged with maintenance should consult a knowledgeable divorce attorney for advice.

If you need assistance with spousal maintenance and other issues arising in a divorce, the experienced attorneys at Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. in Scottsdale, Arizona will advocate on your behalf. For a consultation, call us at 602-789-3497 or contact us online.