What is Spousal Maintenance?
The Arizona Supreme Court is launching a free spousal maintenance calculator in late summer 2023. The calculator aims to provide greater transparency and predictability to the spousal maintenance process.
When couples divorce or legally separate, one spouse may need to pay court-ordered spousal maintenance or alimony to provide financial support for the other spouse with fewer resources or a lower income.
Currently, judges in Arizona have significant discretion in determining whether, how much, and for how long spousal maintenance should be awarded. This case-by-case approach can result in unpredictable and inconsistent outcomes, making planning difficult for the parties involved.
What Does the Calculator Do?
The calculator will use a standardized formula based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of both spouses, and the standard of living established during the marriage. By providing a tool for judges and lawyers to make fair and consistent decisions, the calculator will help reduce the uncertainty and stress associated with divorce and legal separation.
Users will be able to access the calculator online and input information about their income, expenses, and assets. Based on this information, the calculator will estimate the amount and duration of spousal maintenance that may be ordered by the court. Additionally, users can compare different scenarios to determine which option is most beneficial for them and understand the tax implications of spousal maintenance payments.
However, it is essential to note that the spousal maintenance calculator is not a substitute for a judge’s decision or the advice of a lawyer. Instead, it is a starting point for negotiations and helps parties understand their options and rights.
Overall, the development of the spousal maintenance calculator is a significant step towards making the divorce process more transparent, predictable, and fair for all parties involved. The calculator’s standardized formulas for the calculation of spousal maintenance will help ensure that decisions are made consistently and objectively, considering the needs of all parties.