Alimony in Arkansas

Alimony in Arizona| Spousal Support (Guide) 2023

Divorce is painful and emotional, but many couples can avoid long, drawn-out divorce trials by resolving significant divorce-related issues without the assistance of a judge. However, even the most settlement-minded spouses frequently come to a stalemate when it comes to negotiating ongoing financial assistance, which is one of the most contentious issues in divorce.

Spousal maintenance (sometimes known as “alimony” or “spousal support”) is money paid by one spouse to the other for financial support during or after a divorce (or both.) In some marriages, one spouse makes more money than the other, leaving the other with few options once the couple divorces.

When one spouse earns less than the other and is unable to pay for basic living needs, the judge may order the other spouse to contribute financially to guarantee that neither party goes hungry during or after the divorce. This article will explain to you about alimony in Arizona. 

Spousal Support In Arizona

The type of alimony in Arizona is determined by the stage of the divorce. Judges can award temporary assistance during a divorce, which is known as “pendente lite,” which means it will be in effect until the divorce is finalised. If one spouse requires the other’s financial assistance for regular living expenses and to be financially stable during the divorce process, a judge will award pendente lite support. A temporary support award made during the divorce process does not ensure a post-divorce award.

The judge will indicate whether or not support will be continued in the final divorce ruling. A judge can issue a temporary maintenance judgment, which means that financial assistance will be paid for after the divorce is finalised. When a court orders temporary post-divorce support, the purpose is for the recipient spouse to use the funds to improve employment skills, obtain necessary education, and otherwise better equip themselves to be financially self-sufficient.

Parents Name
Wages & Income
Non-Custodial Parent
Custodial Parent

Temporary assistance (also known as “rehabilitative maintenance”) gives the lower-earning spouse time to rebuild their finances following the divorce, especially if the recipient spouse gave up a job throughout the marriage to raise a family or advance the other’s profession.

Permanent maintenance is also available in Arizona, but the courts only use it in exceptional instances. Even after a long marriage, the courts consider support to be rehabilitative, implying that the receiving spouse should eventually be financially self-sufficient. However, if the lower-earning spouse cannot become self-sufficient due to illness, disability, or age, the Court may award permanent spousal maintenance.

Qualification Of Spousal Support

The asking party must show a need for support and the other’s ability to pay before the Court can award maintenance. A “need” for assistance will be determined by the Court if the asking spouse:

  • Even after property allocation in the divorce, does not have enough assets to meet that spouse’s requirements.
  • Is unable to achieve self-sufficiency through work.
  • Contributed monetarily to the training, education, or vocational skills of the other spouse in order to boost that spouse’s earning potential.
  • To aid the other spouse, he or she has considerably curtailed income or professional chances.
  • Due to a long marriage and senior age, she is unable to obtain work and become self-sufficient.

The judge must assess each case individually to determine if a spouse can become self-sufficient through employment. If you are caring for a very young child or your child has an illness or disability that makes it difficult to work outside the house full-time, the Court may compel your ex-spouse to pay maintenance for a longer period of time.

Factors Affecting Arizona Divorce Laws Alimony

Following the Court’s determination that spousal maintenance is justified, the judge must determine the amount and duration of the award, taking into account the following factors:

  • The standard of living of the couple.
  • The length of time that the couple has been married.
  • Age, career experience, earning potential, and each spouse’s physical and emotional health are all factors to consider.
  • The paying spouse’s ability to cover both spouses’ financial demands while also offering support.
  • Both couples’ relative financial resources, particularly their ability to earn in today’s work market.
  • How much does the requesting spouse contribute to the earning ability of the paying spouse over the course of the marriage?
  • the degree to which the receiver spouse sacrificed income or professional chances in order to aid the other spouse
  • After the divorce, each spouse’s ability to pay for the parties’ children’s future educational costs,
  • Financial means and ability to be financially self-sufficient for the asking spouse
  • The time required for the recipient spouse to get training or education to find a suitable job and whether such education and training are easily available.
  • Excessive spending by one spouse, or the destruction, concealment, or dishonest disposition of jointly-held property by the other.
  • For any spouse, the expense of health insurance.
  • Whether the other spouse or a kid was the victim, any damages and judgments resulting from a spouse’s conduct that resulted in a criminal conviction

In contrast to child support in Arizona, there is no established formula for spousal maintenance. Some Arizona courts have recently experimented with adopting ways to calculate a starting point for spousal maintenance. However, any Arizona judge who consults a formula must still take into account all of the reasons listed above. A court has broad discretion in deciding what amount to award or whether to award any amount at all after taking such circumstances into account.

It’s crucial to remember that couples can agree on the type, quantity, and length of spousal maintenance through an agreement, avoiding the necessity for a judge’s review.

Paying Spousal Maintenance

In Arizona, an award of spousal maintenance is rarely classified as one of the categories indicated above. However, in recent years, spousal maintenance awards have tended to fall into the rehabilitative category. Spousal maintenance awards have been made in our office to assist one spouse in returning to work, securing their own residence, and other measures to smooth the transition into their new post-divorce life.

That isn’t to suggest that spousal maintenance can’t be made permanent or appear to be compensating. Again, Arizona uses particular elements to determine spousal maintenance awards, and each case presents unique circumstances that may alter a judgment.

Modification Of Spousal Maintenance

Arizona’s spousal maintenance regulations only enable you to amend or terminate the order at specific times and under specific circumstances. The Court that authorized the original order will retain jurisdiction over the case, which means that any requests for changes will be heard by that Court. The Court’s decision will be based on a “substantial and persistent change in the situation,” which is a subjective requirement.

Before requesting a change or cancellation, review your initial order to determine what the order was based on. Because the order is based on extremely specific circumstances, there should be a detailed summary of the reasons for the award and the amount and duration of the award.

Go through the initial procedure without making sure that the original order clearly sets out all of the reasons. You may have a difficult time establishing that there has been a significant and continuous change. That is why, if you have a legal situation that may end up in Court, you should always seek the advice of an expert family law attorney.

In some cases, the law will not allow the award to be changed. When you and your former spouse negotiate the award, one of those instances is when you and your former spouse agree that the award cannot be changed or canceled. The Court is unlikely to modify the order because of a later modification as long as the agreement was reached honestly.

How Long Do You Have to be Married for Spousal Maintenance

There is no requirement that people be married for a certain amount of time in order to receive spousal maintenance in Arizona (alimony). The length of the marriage, on the other hand, is one of the elements that judges consider when deciding on spousal support.

A spouse who has been married for less than a year may be eligible for maintenance, but this is unusual. If a spouse is awarded maintenance in a divorce after a brief marriage, it will most likely only be for a few months.

The length of the marriage may influence the amount of maintenance ordered as well as the length of time the paying spouse must pay it. Maintenance is unlikely to be awarded for more than a few years because courts are moving away from imposing it. Maintenance may be awarded for a longer amount of time to the seeking spouse for those terminating long marriages. There is a significant discrepancy between the spouses’ salaries.

Spousal maintenance may be ordered to be paid until either the receiving spouse remarries or dies or until the paying spouse dies in rare cases. This only happens after a long-term marriage when the seeking spouse is unlikely to be able to find work to support himself or herself due to his or her age or incapacity.

What if my Ex-spouse Makes More Money Than Me

Simply because your former husband earns more money than you does not mean you are immediately eligible for spousal maintenance. When it comes to deciding whether or not to accept maintenance requests, judges have a lot of leeways. When evaluating whether an award of maintenance is appropriate, they will consider income disparities as well as separate property that both spouses would receive in the divorce.

You cannot submit a petition for spousal support after you have already been divorced and have not requested it in your case. Spousal support is only granted in the event of a divorce. Only if the divorce was granted by a court that was unable to obtain personal jurisdiction over the paying spouse is there an exemption to this requirement. After your divorce is finalized, you can file a petition for spousal support from your higher-earning ex-spouse.

How Length Of Marriage Affects Alimony in Arizona

There is no single formula for calculating the amount and duration of alimony in Arizona. The Court makes these decisions on a case-by-case basis, looking at things including each party’s financial resources, earning capacity, level of life, and how long the marriage lasted.

When it comes to the length of a marriage, Arizona judges generally describe it as long-term or short-term. A marriage lasting less than ten years is likely to be judged short-term, resulting in a lower alimony payment. A marriage that lasts more than 20 years, on the other hand, may be considered long-term, resulting in a bigger payout… However, not every judge adheres to this (or any other) rule.

In terms of spousal maintenance payments, most court decisions stipulate that alimony payments must extend for 30 to 50 per cent of the duration of the marriage. For example, a year-long marriage might result in spousal support lasting four months or so. This is a preliminary approximation based on court awards, not an official regulation required by legislation.

Failure to pay spousal maintenance in Arizona

If your ex-spouse isn’t paying you the alimony that was imposed or agreed upon, you have many options for enforcing the order.

  • Their driver’s, professional, and recreational licenses will be suspended until they pay.
  • Credit reporting agencies are notified of the debt.
  • Liens are being placed on their property.
  • requesting that their possessions be seized by the Court

What if I Lost my Job or am Unemployed

If you have been ordered to pay spousal maintenance to your ex-spouse and have lost your job or become unemployed, you cannot just stop paying. Instead, under A.R.S. 25-327, you must ask the Court for a modification of your spousal maintenance order. You must demonstrate that your circumstances have significantly altered and are continuing to win an application to amend spousal maintenance orders.

You cannot just cease paying spousal maintenance to your ex-spouse if you have lost your job or become unemployed. Instead, you must petition the Court for a modification of your spousal maintenance order under A.R.S. 25-327. To win an application to revise spousal maintenance orders, you must be able to show that your circumstances have considerably changed and are continuing.

Is Spousal Support Different from Child Support

Child support and spousal support are not the same things. Spousal support is intended to provide financial assistance to a spouse so that he or she can work toward becoming self-sufficient. Child support is granted in the best interests of the child in order to provide him or her with a quality of living comparable to that which the child would have had if his or her parents had stayed together. In Arizona, all parents are required to contribute to their children’s upbringing. The Court automatically ordered child support in a divorce with children, unlike spousal support, which may or may not be ordered.

Tax Effects

Alimony in Arizona  is tax-deductible for the payer and taxable income for the recipient if your divorce was finalized before December 31, 2018.

Significant changes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have an impact on your bottom line if your divorce is finalized after December 31, 2018. Spousal maintenance payments are no longer a tax-deductible expense for the payer, and the recipient is no longer responsible for paying taxes on the payments as of January 1, 2019.

The new tax code amendment effectively eliminates the tax benefit for paying spouses, thereby complicating the divorce procedure.


Is there alimony in Arizona?

If you demonstrate eligibility, Arizona divorce courts have the authority to order your spouse to pay alimony to you during or after the divorce (or both). Spouses who are capable of living on their own without financial support, on the other hand, may not require alimony (also known as spousal maintenance in Arizona).

What is alimony in Arizona?

Spousal maintenance (sometimes known as “alimony” or “spousal support”) is money paid by one spouse to the other for financial support during or after a divorce (or both.) In some marriages, one spouse makes more money than the other, leaving the other with few options once the couple divorces.

How much is alimony in Arizona?

According to the rule, alimony should be between 30 and 50 per cent of the length of the marriage. There are numerous elements that influence whether the duration should be closer to 30% or 50% of the marriage’s length. This is a fairly basic formula for calculating spousal maintenance.

How is alimony determined in Arizona?

There is no single formula for calculating the amount and duration of alimony in Arizona. The Court makes these decisions on a case-by-case basis, looking at things including each party’s financial resources, earning capacity, level of life, and how long the marriage lasted.

How long does a man pay alimony in Arizona?

In terms of spousal maintenance payments, most court decisions stipulate that alimony payments must extend for 30 to 50 per cent of the duration of the marriage. For example, a year-long marriage might result in spousal support lasting four months or so.

How can I avoid paying alimony in Arizona?

You cannot simply cease paying spousal maintenance to your ex-spouse because you lost your job or were unemployed. Instead, you must file an A.R.S. 25-327 petition with the Court to have your spousal maintenance order modified.

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