Spousal Support Lawyer in Yuma
A Knowledgeable Attorney for Obligors & Recipients
If you are getting a divorce or a legal separation, spousal maintenance is one of the most important financial issues either you or the court must decide. It is also potentially one of the most uncertain issues because of the wide discretion Arizona law gives judges in deciding whether to award maintenance, in what amount, and for what duration. For such an important issue, you should only trust an experienced and determined family law attorney.
Arizona’s Two-Step Process for Deciding Spousal Maintenance
Arizona’s law on spousal support, or alimony, is gender-neutral, so either spouse can seek maintenance from the other. The law has a two-stage inquiry to resolve the question of spousal maintenance, also known as alimony. First, the court asks whether maintenance is appropriate at all.
The law requires the court to consider whether the spouse seeking support:
- Lacks sufficient property to provide for reasonable needs
- Is unable to be self-sufficient because of a lack of earning ability or child custody duties
- Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse
- Had a marriage of long duration and has reached an age that may preclude employment with adequate earnings
If the court concludes that the spouse should receive support, the court then asks how much support is called for and how long support should last.
The law lists many factors for the court to consider, including:
- 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
- The obligor spouse’s ability to pay
- The spouses’ comparative earning ability and financial resources
- The time it would take for the recipient spouse to become self-supporting
The court does not consider marital misconduct when awarding maintenance.
Other Issues Related to Spousal Support in Arizona
The law allows parties getting a divorce or legal separation to negotiate a settlement to the support question. Mediation is often a helpful tool for reaching a settlement. The settlement can include an agreement that the maintenance order is not to be modified.
Dependent spouses can receive temporary maintenance during the divorce process, as well as a temporary order of child custody and child support. Temporary alimony, also known as pendente lite, can include amounts for legal fees during the divorce.
The Law Office of Phil Hineman, P.C. provides reliable guidance and representation in spousal maintenance disputes. Call us today at (928) 224-3230 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.
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