Alimony is the money one ex-spouse pays the other during the process of a divorce or after the divorce. It is referred to as “spousal maintenance” in Arizona. There is more than one kind of spousal maintenance. A family law attorney can explain the details of each type to you and help you understand which kind applies to your situation.
Permanent spousal maintenance means one party pays the other a set amount for a long period of time. If the divorce is causing financial hardship for one spouse, temporary spousal maintenance is usually awarded until the person has time to recover. Your family attorney may encourage you to file for temporary spousal maintenance if you are suffering from the immediate effects of separation.
Permanent spousal maintenance is becoming unusual. Even if the couple is married for a long period of time, a judge is unlikely to award permanent spousal maintenance. However, if you provided substantial family and life support for your ex-spouse over a long period of time, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Your family law attorney can help you understand how your contributions as a homemaker and primary parent factor into spousal maintenance awards.
It’s common for courts to recommend rehabilitative spousal maintenance for a limited period of time. This type of spousal maintenance is designed to help the person receive job training or a college education so that he or she can find sustainable employment. A family law attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for this type of support. It is especially helpful if you have been out of the workforce for a long period of time.
If you are considering asking for spousal maintenance, you should consult with your attorney to help formulate the right approach. You will need to clearly explain the reasons you are entitled to spousal maintenance and how you plan to achieve financial independence in the future. If you are being asked to pay spousal maintenance, your family law attorney can help you evaluate your options. It may be easier to agree to a temporary spousal maintenance agreement than to fight it. In other cases, your best option is to contest a spousal maintenance agreement.