If you’re in the process of filing for divorce, you may be ordered to pay alimony. Alimony is not awarded in every divorce case, as it depends on the financial circumstances of both parties. If the court awards alimony, it most likely won’t have to be paid out forever. Here is a brief overview on alimony and what you can expect either on the paying or the receiving end.
Purpose of Alimony
Maintenance intends to limit the financial effect of a divorce by providing income to the lower or non-wage-earning spouse. Part of this reasoning is that because one spouse may have opted to forego a career in order the care for children, she or he may need time to develop a skill that can provide a self-sustaining income. Another reason is to provide the spouse with the same lifestyle he or she became accustomed to during the marriage.
The courts will consider these factors when determining whether or not to award alimony. But, the courts will also expect that the recipient of alimony prepares herself or himself to re-enter the job market and not live off of the alimony payments for an overly extended period.
Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
Kevin Park of Hildebrand Law was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
While child support is calculated according to certain guidelines established by the state, courts have more discretion when determining how much to award in spousal support. However, most states follow the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, which recommends the court consider the following when determining the amounts to be awarded:
The spouse’s income and employment opportunity
The couple’s standard of living before the divorce
How long the couple was married
Misconduct during the marriage, such as abuse or adultery
The needs of any children in the marriage at both the time of the divorce and in consideration of the future
Length of Time to Pay Alimony
Spousal maintenance is sometimes referred to as “rehabilitative” so that it’s ordered only for as long as the receiving spouse needs it. If the divorce decree does not specify an exact date of when the payments will end, the payments continue until the court says otherwise.
Alimony Is Not Just for Women
Many times, people think of spousal maintenance as a payment made by the husband to the wife, but that’s not always the case. Many times men take time off from their career to raise the children because the wife has the better paying job. If this is your situation, you may be able to collect alimony while you’re preparing yourself for re-entry into the workforce.
If you have a question about alimony in Arizona, please call to speak to one of our experienced Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona alimony attorneys at (480)947-4339.
If you’re looking to extend or end alimony, it’s best to consult with a divorce lawyer you can rely on. We can help advise you on your rights when it comes to both paying and receiving alimony and assist in determining a fair period for how long the alimony payments should last.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Smith & Weer, P.C. for their insight into alimony and family law practice.
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