What is alimony (spousal maintenance)?

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What is alimony (spousal maintenance)?

Post  Admin on Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:25 pm

A court can order spousal maintenance or alimony to either party in Arizona. The parties may agree in writing as to maintenance and if the court finds that the maintenance agreement is not unfair, it may be made part of the final decree. In the absence of a written agreement, the court may award maintenance in amounts and for the periods of time as it deems just, without regard to marital misconduct and after considering all relevant factors.

Maintenance can be awarded to either spouse, if the spouse seeking maintenance:

· Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs
· Is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment
· Is the custodian of a child whose age and condition is such that the custodian should not be required to seek employment outside the home
· Lacks earning ability in the labor market to adequately support himself or herself;
· Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse
· Had a marriage of long duration and is of an age which may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to support himself or herself

Alimony can be awarded for any of these reasons, but is also based on the other person's ability to pay. Marital misconduct is not a factor to be considered. The factors to be considered are:

· The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse and the extent that the seeking spouse reduced his or her income or career opportunities to benefit the other spouse
· The time for the spouse to acquire education and training for suitable employment
· The spouse's future earning capacity
· The spouse's standard of living during the marriage
· The duration of the marriage
· The ability of the spouse providing maintenance to meet his or her needs while providing the maintenance to the other
· The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance
· Any destruction, concealment, fraudulent disposition or excessive expenditures of jointly-held property
· The comparative financial resources of the spouses including their comparative earning capacities
· The age of the spouses
· The physical and emotional condition of the spouses
· The usual occupations of the spouses during the marriage
· The vocational skills of the spouse seeking maintenance
· The ability of both parties to contribute to the future educational costs of any children
· Any other factors the court may deem just and equitable

Awards of maintenance are to be paid through the court unless the spouses agree otherwise. Maintenance agreements may be made non-modifiable by agreement of both spouses.

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