Spousal Support (Alimony)
In Arizona, the judge in a divorce case have the power to order a higher-earning spouse to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other spouse for a period of time, or even indefinitely, after the divorce. The relevant factors a judge will consider in deciding whether to award spousal maintenance include (but are not limited to): the standard of living established during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the earning ability of the spouse seeking spousal maintenance, the ability of the spouse from whom spousal maintenance is sought to pay, and whether the spouse seeking spousal maintenance contributed to the other spouse’s income or career opportunities.
Whether you are the spouse seeking spousal maintenance or the spouse worried that you might be ordered to pay spousal maintenance, it is important to have a lawyer represent you to make sure that the proper evidence to best present your argument is properly presented to the judge. Unless the parties have reached an agreement about spousal maintenance and agreed that it will be non-modifiable, spousal maintenance is modifiable in post-decree litigation. That means that the spouse ordered to pay can seek to lower the payment or reduce the time for which spousal maintenance must be paid. That also means that the spouse seeking maintenance can seek to increase the payment or extend the time for which the payment must be made.