Arizona Alimony Laws
Learn About Arizona Alimony Laws
The Scottsdale alimony attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC want to provide you with information regarding Arizona alimony laws in divorce cases. Some people refer to financial support being paid by one spouse to the other spouse as alimony or spousal maintenance. Both the term alimony and spousal support in Arizona are interchangeable.
There are several things an Arizona court must consider when ruling on a spouse’s claim for spousal support. The first factor is to determine whether a husband or wife is entitled to an award of alimony. If the court determines neither spouse has a right to an award of alimony in Arizona, the analysis stops, and the tribunal just denies the spousal maintenance claim.
If the court determines a spouse meets the requirement to be award alimony, the Court must then determine the monthly payment amount of that spousal maintenance and how long (i.e., duration) those monthly payments should be made to the spouse. Let’s start back at the beginning; how does a court determine if a wife or husband in Arizona even qualifies for an award of alimony in Arizona.
Alimony in Arizona
The Arizona alimony laws are found in Arizona Revised Statute section 25-319. That law provides a court with authority to grant spousal support for any of the following four reasons:
- Lacks sufficient assets to provide for their cost of living (i.e., such as not having adequate return on investments to pay their bills);
- Cannot obtain employment that will pay enough to cover their living expenses or has a very young child such that the parent should not be expected to work at that time;
- Contributed to the other spouse’s education, such as working while the other spouse went to school;
- Was married a long time and is now too old to be expected to return to work;
The parties involved in a spousal maintenance case will, therefore, need to complete Affidavits of Financial Information detailing their incomes and expenses to determine how much it costs each party to live and how much more revenue the paying spouse has available to pay spousal maintenance. The parties may even request copies of all the bills the other person is claiming to verify the accuracy of the figures listed in that Affidavit of Financial Information.
Arizona Alimony Laws | Use a Vocational Expert
I often use a Vocational Expert to interview and do a series of tests on the spouse seeking spousal maintenance. That expert will issue a written report containing his or her opinion as to the types of industries the spouse could obtain employment.
The kind of jobs that spouse may be able to secure in that industry, as well as the starting wage for each position and future the expected increase in earnings in the following years. I will then call that person as an expert to testify at trial or use his or her report in settlement discussions.
The court has broad discretion in determining if a spouse in Arizona is entitled to an award of spousal maintenance. It is tough to win a spousal support appeal in Arizona, unless you can prove the court abused its discretion, made an erroneous ruling to an objection to evidence introduced or sought to be introduced at the trial of the case or made some other error of law, just to name a few.
You should review my article Arizona Spousal Maintenance: How Much and How Long Do I Have to Pay for information on the factors the court must consider when deciding how much spousal maintenance to award and the length of time those payments must be made.
Call us at (480)305-8300 to schedule your personalized consultation with one of our divorce attorneys with experience in valuing a professional practice in a divorce in Arizona.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about paying alimony to ensure everyone has access to information about alimony laws in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and alimony attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce.