Does Employment History Determine the Amount of Alimony in Arizona?
Employment History and Alimony in Arizona
The court will consider evidence to determine if the spouse seeking spousal maintenance can obtain employment to provide for their support; either completely or at least in part. So long as the court does not first conclude that the spouse has a disability precluding employment, is the custodian of a young child such that he or she should not be expected to work or is of such an elder age that he or she should not work. The court will also consider the educational, vocational, and employment history of the spouse requesting alimony in Arizona. The court will examine:
- Evidence concerning the industries in which that spouse was previously employed
- The salaries in that industry
- The benefits typically provided to employees within that industry
- The expected future increase in income over the coming years in that industry
- The current employment prospects in that industry to determine how much alimony should be ordered and the length of time it should be paid
- The court will also consider the income of the spouse who is being asked to pay spousal maintenance. That income can be in the form of wages, recurring investment income, or recurring gifts. Sometimes a spouse may have had to work more than full time to meet the living expenses of the parties during their marriage, or a spouse may have to take a second job just to cover the expense of two households after a divorce.
Whether the court includes overtime or money earned from a second job depends upon the facts of each case. Please read our synopsis of the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in Woodside v. Woodside regarding when overtime or a second job should and should not be included in the income calculation.
There are also limitations on the inclusion of service-related disability payments made to military members to determine either entitlement to alimony or in determining if the military service member can pay alimony to the other spouse. You should read our article on the Arizona Court of Appeals decision in the case of In re Marriage of Priessman for more information regarding these limitations.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about the effect of employment history on alimony in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about alimony laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law 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.