What Makes You Eligible for Alimony

Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, may be available in a divorce in Arizona. It is intended to be temporary — providing financial support for a spouse who requires time, education and/or training in order to become financially independent. Establishing eligibility for alimony requires showing a need on the part of one spouse as well as the ability of the other spouse to pay.

Arizona law provides that a court may grant spousal maintenance in any of the following situations:

  • A spouse does not have sufficient assets to provide for his or her reasonable needs.
  • A spouse cannot earn enough money to be self-sufficient, due either to a lack of training or education or to a young or disabled child’s need for an unusual amount of care.
  • A spouse financially contributed to the career and/or business opportunities of the other spouse.
  • The marriage was of long duration and one spouse is unlikely to obtain employment sufficient to support himself or herself because of age.
  • A spouse sacrificed for the sake of the other spouse’s career, forgoing business, financial and/or career opportunities.

Once eligibility is established, a court will determine the amount and duration of alimony by considering such factors as these:

  1. The standard of living of the family during the marriage
  2. The length of the marriage
  3. The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse receiving maintenance
  4. The ability of the paying spouse to meet his or her own needs while meeting those of the recipient spouse
  5. The comparative financial resources and earning abilities of the spouses
  6. The contribution of the recipient spouse to the earning ability of the paying spouse
  7. The extent to which the recipient spouse has reduced his or her income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse
  8. The ability of both spouses to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children
  9. The financial ability of the recipient spouse to meet some of his or her needs independently
  10. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the recipient spouse to find appropriate employment and the availability of such education or training
  11. The cost for each spouse to obtain health insurance for themselves and family members

There are other factors a court may consider in arriving at the amount of a spousal maintenance award. An experienced Arizona divorce attorney can analyze your situation and help you secure a fair and manageable support arrangement, whether you are the recipient or the payer.

If you are considering a separation or divorce in Arizona, the attorneys at Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. in Scottsdale are ready to assist in all aspects of your case, including spousal maintenance. For a consultation, call us at 602-789-3497 or contact us online.