Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Explain Qualifications for Alimony in Arizona
Scottsdale divorce lawyers skilled in resolving spousal maintenance issues
Divorce can be financially difficult if you relied on your spouse’s income to support you. Arizona divorce courts have the power to require your spouse to pay alimony to you during or after the divorce (or both) if you establish eligibility. On the other hand, spouses who are capable of living on their own without financial support may not need alimony — known in Arizona as spousal maintenance. At Schloss & Clark Family Law, P.C. in Scottsdale, our knowledgeable, client-oriented attorneys can determine whether you or your spouse meet the qualifications for alimony and will represent you in seeking or opposing it.
Who qualifies for alimony in Arizona?
Before awarding you alimony, the court must determine whether you need it, taking into account whether you:
- Have insufficient property, after the marital property is distributed, to support yourself
- Are unable to obtain employment that will make you self-sufficient because, for instance, you are too long out of the job market or must care for a young child
- Helped increase your spouse’s earning capacity by contributing to the cost of his or her education, training or vocational skills
- Have significantly decreased your own income or career opportunities to benefit your spouse
If your spouse is seeking to charge you with alimony, you must demonstrate his or her lack of need as well as your inability to pay. No matter which side you are on, you can count on our alimony attorneys in Scottsdale to present the strongest evidence we can in favor of your position.
How much alimony can I expect to get?
If you qualify for alimony, the amount awarded will depend on several factors, including:
- The same factors used to decide if you qualify
- Your marital standard of living
- You and your spouse’s age, health, earning capacity and relative financial resources
- Your spouse’s ability to afford to pay alimony
- The marriage’s duration
- You or your spouse’s bad faith and criminal conduct
Often, we are able to negotiate an agreement on the amount with your spouse but, if not, we are always prepared to go to court to seek the spousal maintenance you deserve.
Modification of spousal maintenance
Unless you’ve signed an agreement that prohibits it, you may ask the court to modify an alimony order after the divorce. Examples of situations that might merit modification include:
- A change in your employment status or income level
- Your spouse becoming able to pay more or, if the recipient, becoming self-sufficient
- Increases in your or your spouse’s necessary expenses
- You and your spouse agreeing to a change
Whether you seek or oppose a modification, we will be strong advocates for you.
Are alimony payments tax deductible in Arizona?
Before 2019, you could deduct alimony payments you made or taxes you were required to pay on payments you received. Since 2019, however, alimony is no longer taxable or tax deductible. We can advise you on the tax consequences of alimony in your case in more detail.
Failure to pay spousal maintenance in Arizona
If your ex-spouse isn’t paying you the alimony that was ordered or agreed to, you have several ways to enforce the order, including:
- Suspending their driving, professional or recreational licenses until they pay
- Reporting the debt to credit reporting agencies
- Putting liens on their property
- Asking the court to seize their property
We are ready to take quick and decisive action to make sure your alimony is paid.
Contact dedicated Arizona alimony attorneys for a free initial consultation
For reliable advice and representation on alimony and other family law issues, call Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. at 602-789-3497 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at our office, located on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale.