Getting divorced can be life changing, but it can be especially earth shattering for a spouse who may not be used to supporting himself or herself financially. Perhaps this individual decided to stay home to take care of the children while the other party served as the sole breadwinner.
In this situation, the spouse who stayed home may be eligible for spousal maintenance. The court in Arizona considers several factors when determining whether you or your future ex should receive spousal support or alimony.
Purpose of alimony
Alimony basically provides a continual income stream for a divorcing spouse who did not earn a wage or who earned low wages during his or her marriage. This stream of income can help the spouse to stay afloat financially while he or she takes the necessary time to develop his or her job skills. If you receive alimony, it can also help you to maintain the standard of living after divorce that you enjoyed before getting divorced.
How much alimony should I get?
If you believe you should receive alimony, the court will look at multiple factors in deciding whether to award alimony:
- How long you and your spouse were married
- The other spouse's ability to support both you and himself or herself
- Your and your spouse's standard of living when you were married
- How much time you need to gain the training necessary to support yourself financially
Length of alimony payments
Typically, you will receive alimony for as long as you need it to be self-sufficient. If you remarry, your payments will likely come to an end. Otherwise, if your divorce decree fails to spell out clearly when your spousal support will end, you can expect to continue to receive payments until the court determines they should stop.
You and your spouse may be able to decide for yourselves how to handle spousal maintenance during your divorce proceeding rather than rely on a judge to decide this for you. Negotiation offers the benefit of allowing both spouses to feel as though they are in control of their marital dissolution. If you cannot find common ground in the area of spousal support, however, a judge in Arizona will have to step in and make this determination for you both.