Alimony Laws in an Arizona Divorce
Treatment of Alimony in a Divorce
This Arizona divorce laws alimony page was created to provide you with important information you should know if you are going through a divorce in Arizona in which alimony will be an issue. Issues pertaining to whether alimony will be awarded in your case, as well as the amount of the alimony and the length of time it will be paid, have an important impact on the spouse receiving the alimony as well as the spouse paying alimony in an Arizona Divorce.
Is a Spouse Entitled to Alimony in Arizona
The first step is to decide if a spouse is entitled to alimony in an Arizona divorce. There are several reasons an Arizona court may award alimony in a divorce. The court may determine that a spouse will receive an insufficient amount of community property and, therefore, have a problem supporting themselves. The court may determine a spouse simply cannot earn enough in the work-force to support themselves and is, therefore, entitled to alimony in an Arizona divorce. The court may find the spouse has a child of such young age that he or she will not be expected to work and, therefore, should receive alimony. The court can also award alimony in an Arizona divorce if he or she contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse. Lastly, the court may award alimony in Arizona if the court finds a spouse was married for a long time and is too old to be expected to work full-time.
How Much Alimony and How Long is It Paid
A judge in Arizona has broad discretion in determining the amount and duration of an award of alimony. Some of the more compelling factors are the length of the marriage and the other spouse’s earnings. There are other factors we will discuss, but the length of the marriage and the earnings of a spouse usually carry most the weight in most, but not all, cases. In determining the amount and duration of alimony in Arizona, the court will consider the standard of living the spouses shared, such as the home they lived in, the cars they drove, their daily expenses, and even the vacations they took while married.
In determining the amount and duration of alimony in an Arizona divorce, the court will consider the standard of living the spouses shared, such as the home they lived in, the cars they drove, their daily expenses, and even the vacations they took while married. The court will also look at the age and income potential the spouse seeking alimony in an Arizona divorce may have in the future. Similarly, the court will consider the age and financial ability the spouse who would be paying alimony, to be able to both support himself or herself while paying alimony to the other spouse.
The court may consider evidence when one spouse sacrificed his or her career or educational opportunities to allow the other spouse to pursue his or her education and career. Interestingly, a court has no authority to order either parent to pay their children’s college expenses. However, Arizona’s alimony statute permits a court to determine whether either or both spouses will contribute to their children’s college expenses, making that a relevant issue in an Arizona alimony case.
If the spouse seeking alimony intends to attend school or go back into the work-force, the court will consider how long it should take that spouse to increase his or her earnings to a level where he or she will no longer be entitled to alimony. The court will also take into account the cost of health insurance for the person seeking alimony in an Arizona divorce. If a spouse has concealed, destroyed or fraudulently disposed of community assets, the court can consider those actions as a basis to award alimony. Lastly, the court can consider any criminal conduct by a spouse that resulted in judgments being entered against a spouse.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about divorce and alimony to ensure everyone has access to information about divorce and 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.
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