Alimony to a Working Spouse in Arizona
The short answer is, yes. According to Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals in the appellate case of Boyle v. Boyle, a trial court has the authority to award Alimony in Arizona to a spouse even though he/she has not demonstrated they are unable to financially support themselves. The court reasoned that a spouse is no longer required to prove at trial that he/she is unable to financially support themselves as a result to a 1987 amendment to the spousal maintenance statute (i.e., A.R.S. Section 25-319(A).
Other factors in the statute, therefore, become important to argue at trial in a situation wherein a spouse who otherwise is able to support themselves still seeks an award of spousal maintenance. Specifically, the length of the parties’ marriage, the extent to which either party contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse, and whether the spouse has sufficient property to provide for his/her reasonable needs. The Boyle decision will most certainly increase the number of spousal maintenance cases that will proceed to trial as spouses who otherwise can support themselves will very likely pursue a claim for spousal maintenance from the other spouse. Time will tell.