Divorce or separation can be challenging, especially when it comes to matters concerning money and finances. Spousal maintenance in Arizona is a legal obligation where one spouse will pay alimony to the other after a marriage ends.
The alimony attorneys at Alcock & Associates have decades and decades of divorce experience and know how to ensure that your financial needs are taken care of. Let our experienced family law attorneys get what you deserve.
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Spousal maintenance aims to balance the financial disparity between parties and provide the necessary support for the lesser-earning or non-earning spouse. However, an alimony award is more difficult to obtain in Arizona than in other states. It is not automatic.
Determining alimony in Arizona can be a complex process that requires a deep understanding of the law and its application. That is why it’s in your best interest to work with reputable divorce lawyers who can help you negotiate the most favorable terms for your circumstances.
In Arizona, several types of alimony may be awarded based on the unique circumstances of the case. These include:
Temporary maintenance is awarded during the divorce process to provide financial support to the dependent spouse until a final alimony agreement or court order is established.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to help the dependent spouse become self-sufficient through education, training, or acquiring valuable job skills. The spousal support must continue until the lower-earning spouse can maintain a reasonable quality of life without assistance.
Permanent alimony is rare in Arizona and only awarded in extreme circumstances where the dependent spouse may require ongoing financial support after divorce, such as illness, disability, or advanced age.
There are many factors that the court will take into consideration when awarding alimony and spousal support. The statute that controls an award of spousal maintenance is A.R.S. 24-319. If a spouse is requesting an award of alimony, the judge must first consider if that spouse:
If a judge finds that support payments are appropriate, the judge must determine the amount of alimony that should be paid each month and for how long.
The court considers the following factors when deciding the amount and duration of alimony:
The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.
The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse’s ability to meet that spouse’s own needs independently.
The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.
Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.
The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved.
All actual damages and judgments from conduct that resulted in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or a child was the victim.
In a divorce, a judge seeks an equitable resolution. An equitable resolution is one where each party is as close to the same position post-divorce as they were pre-divorce. Thus, alimony payment is unlikely if both parties are employed and make comparable income. But if one spouse was a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, cared for the children, sacrificed her career, and supported her husband’s career, the spouse would likely receive alimony.
It can be difficult to obtain spousal maintenance if either party hides or lies about their income. Both parties are required to file Affidavits of Financial Information–sworn documents that outline their income and expenses. If a spouse lies about their income on their affidavit, that is perjury. Ask our attorneys about subpoenas, interrogatories, and requests for production of documents. We can help you find the truth about the other party’s financial situation.
Parents have a financial obligation to their children under A.R.S. 25-320. Thus, parents who divorce or break up are still obliged to support their children.
Several factors are taken into account when determining a party’s child support obligation: income, parenting time, health insurance, and childcare expenses. Once you have this information, Arizona has a child support calculator to determine how much needs to be paid monthly.
If you go to trial, you must complete a child support worksheet to support your calculation. Parties can have different numbers for income and parenting time. If parents have equal income and parenting time, child support will not be awarded. If one parent has sole custody of four children, they will receive child support.
Arizona is a community property state under A.R.S. 25-211. Community property is any property accrued during the marriage. In a divorce, there must be an equitable distribution of community assets. That means a court must identify and divide community property accrued during the marriage. Community property can be many different things: cars, houses, businesses, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, or equity. Identifying these assets is essential. It is not unusual for an opposing party to minimize or conceal assets. Our attorneys know how to find community property so you get your fair share.
Sole and separate property is not community property; it only belongs to one spouse and will not be divided in the divorce. There are very limited circumstances in which property is sole and separate. A.R.S. 25-211 says sole and separate property is any property: 1) acquired by gift, devise or descent; or 2) acquired after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment. Property is sole and separate if it was obtained before marriage, was a gift, was inherited, or was obtained after service of a petition for divorce. There are some complicated aspects of sole and separate property law. For example, if a spouse bought a house before marriage, but that house accrued equity during the marriage, then the other spouse could be entitled to half the equity accrued.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced alimony divorce attorney by your side is essential when facing an alimony case. Alimony laws vary from state to state, and Arizona has its own set of regulations and guidelines. Working with an experienced spousal support lawyer ensures you have the necessary expertise and guidance throughout the process.
At Alcock & Associates, we focus on the benefits we can bring our clients and what’s in it for them. Our alimony attorneys specialize in accurately assessing the factors influencing alimony payments and determinations, providing personalized legal strategies tailored to your unique circumstances. We leverage our expertise to help you navigate the complexities of alimony support and work toward securing a fair and just outcome.
Here at Alcock and Associates our team and staff are dedicated to helping and representing YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.
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