In Arizona, spousal maintenance (also referred to as “alimony”) is governed by A.R.S. § 25-319. The court cannot award spousal maintenance unless either a petition for dissolution of marriage or a petition for legal separation has been filed. You do not need to be married for any specific duration of time before you are eligible for spousal maintenance. However, it should be noted that the longer you have been married, the more likely it is that a court will award spousal maintenance.
The circumstances under which spousal maintenance can be awarded are delineated in A.R.S. § 25-319. The court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse for any of the following reasons if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:
1. Lacks sufficient property, including property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for that spouse’s reasonable needs.
2. Is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that the custodian should not be required to seek employment outside the home or lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to be self-sufficient.
3. Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.
4. Had a marriage of long duration and is of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.
If the spouse seeking spousal maintenance against the other spouse is able to make the threshold showing for need based on the factors above, additional factors need to be examined to determine the appropriate amount and the duration of the proposed spousal maintenance award. Some of these factors that can frequently arise include, without limitation, the standard of living established during the marriage; the duration of the marriage; the age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and the ability of the spouse proposed to pay spousal maintenance to support their own independent needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking spousal maintenance. For full list of factors, see A.R.S. § 25-319(B).
The experienced attorneys at Giordano & Heckele, PLLC can assist you with your family law matters involving Arizona alimony and spousal maintenance. CALL TODAY for a consultation: (520) 433-9031. Or email us at [email protected].