In Arizona, a person who is going through a separation or divorce may request spousal support. Spousal maintenance, which is also referred to as alimony, may be awarded in order to help divorcing parties get back onto their feet following the end of the marriage.
There are several factors that the court takes into account when determining if a person will be awarded spousal maintenance. First, the court must decide if the spouse is entitled to maintenance. A spouse is more likely to be considered entitled to maintenance if the marriage was longer than five years, if they lack sufficient property, if they contributed to the education of their spouse or if they are not able to earn enough to be self-sufficient.
Next, the court must determine how long the maintenance will be paid. These factors include the duration of the marriage, the spouse's ability to be employed and the standard of living during the marriage. The court may also take into consideration how long it may take for the spouse seeking support to finish their education or training so that they can become self-sufficient and what the costs of obtaining health insurance might be.
If it is agreed upon by both parties, the terms of the maintenance order may be permanent. A divorce attorney may help a client negotiate an appropriate amount in spousal maintenance if he or she meets the requirements or demonstrates a need for a maintenance order. Additionally, the attorney may be equipped to gather all financial documents and other evidence when seeking a spousal maintenance order for the client, which potentially makes a strong argument when asking for the award.
Source: AZ Center for Divorce Education , "Spousal Maintenance", October 13, 2014