Spousal support, also called alimony, is the payment of money between exes or soon-to-be exes. In Arizona, spousal support can be paid for varying lengths of time and in different amounts. This informational post will introduce readers to 3 important facts about spousal support in the state. However, readers are reminded that like all other posts on this family law blog, no part of this post should be interpreted as specific legal advice.
Fact #1: Spousal support is not a guarantee in a divorce
Not all divorces involve determinations or agreements about spousal support. For example, when two individuals who are financially independent end their marriage, they may each exit their divorce with the financial capacity to support themselves. Neither may require spousal support from the other. Spousal support becomes relevant when one party to a divorce will be financially disadvantaged by the end of their marriage.
Fact #2: Spousal support is paid by the financially secure spouse
There may be an expectation that spousal support is always paid from the man to his soon-to-be ex-wife. This assumption is erroneous because gender does not play a role in the applicability of spousal support. Spousal support is based on financial need and earning capacity. Regardless of whether a person requesting spousal support is a man or a woman, its determination will be made on facts related to finances and not gender.
Fact #3: Spousal support may not last for a lifetime
In some cases, spousal support may be ordered for the entirety of the recipient’s life. This may happen if the recipient is elderly or is incapable of entering the workforce to support themselves. However, when an individual is capable of working but does not possess the skills to get a job immediately after their divorce, they may receive rehabilitative support to help them get on their feet and receive the training they need to obtain gainful employment.
Spousal support can be an important part of a divorce. No person should be financially disadvantaged because their marriage ended. Those with concerns about money after their divorces can talk to their trusted family law attorneys about their spousal support options.