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The first step for alimony: Do you Qualify?

Alimony and Spousal Support
Qualifying for Alimony and Spousal Support

The analysis of spousal maintenance in Arizona is a two part question. One, is someone entitled to maintenance? If so, how long and for what amount should the spousal maintenance award consist of?
Question One:
To determine is someone is even eligible for spousal maintenance (Alimony), Arizona Revised Statutes 25-319 lays out four initial factors to be considered.
Maintenance may be awarded to a spouse who:

  1. lacks sufficient property, including property apportioned to such spouse, to provide for his or her reasonable needs, or
  2. is unable to support himself or herself through apprpriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that the custodian shoufl be be required to seek employment out the home or lacks the earning ability in the labor market adequate to support himself or herself, or
  3. contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse, or
  4. had a marriage of a long duration and is of an age which may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adeqaute to support himself or herself.

Notice the use of the word “or”. A person need not be incapable of supporting themselves to qualify for maintenance. One may qualify for maintenance under any of the above categories.
Unless stated otherwise in the decree or agreed upon by the parties, spousal maintenance ends upon the death of the spouse or if the receiving spouse gets remarried.
In addition, when analyzing how much money is available to a receiving spouse, the Court does not consider federal disability benefits, VA benefits, for a service connected disability when considering whether to award maintenance and in what amount.
Also, if there is a criminal conviction by one spouse for the abuse of the other spouse or a child of the parties, Courts may now consider the actual damages that come from the criminal conduct.
For information on how much spousal maintenance will be awarded click here.
For more information about how spousal maintenance applies to your facts, give the office a call for a consultation. 480-649-2905.

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