Arizona Spousal Maintenance Guidelines
The Arizona Spousal Maintenance Guidelines were reviewed and approved on October 16, 2002 by the Maricopa County Superior Court Family Law Department. However, those guidelines did not last long because the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a ruling that the guidelines were adopted by the Court and not passed along as a bill from the Arizona Legislature for the Arizona Governor to sign them into law. As a result, they had no legal basis and could not be used by Arizona divorce trial judges.
The idea behind the creation of the Arizona Spousal Maintenance Guidelines originally came about as a result of study conducted by a Tucson Arizona divorce attorney. That attorney sent a set of fictitious facts to various judges across the state of Arizona. She then asked those judges to share what they would award in spousal maintenance based upon those fictitious facts.
What she discovered was that the responses from these Arizona divorce judges ranged from no award of spousal maintenance to a lifetime award of spousal maintenance and everything in between.
The unofficial study performed by this attorney revealed what most experienced Arizona family law attorneys already knew; albeit maybe not to the extent of the diversity of responses that were demonstrated by her study.
Arizona Spousal Maintenance Guidelines | Factors to Receive Spousal Maintenance
The simple fact of the matter is that spousal maintenance cases are very complex. There are four factors the court may consider to determine if an award of spousal maintenance in Arizona is appropriate and thirteen different factors the court must consider when determining the amount and duration of that award.
Every spousal maintenance case is different simply because of the numerous factors the court must consider and everyone’s circumstances with respect to those factors will be different. It is also important to understand that Arizona divorce judges have broad discretion on how much weight they give to each particular factor.
It is critical, therefore, to understand how to build the best Arizona spousal maintenance case and how to best defend those cases to provide the best outcome in an Arizona divorce case.