You are beyond ready to get divorced and move on with your life. However, you are nervous about the financial aspect of splitting up with your spouse, as your spouse has been the primary breadwinner for years.
Fortunately, this is where alimony comes in. Alimony is designed to provide the lower-earning or non-earning spouse with a financial bridge that helps him or her to transition more easily to life after divorce. Here is a look at how alimony works for those getting divorced in Arizona.
Why is alimony necessary?
Alimony serves the purpose of limiting the unfair economic impacts of a marital breakup by ensuring that the lower-earning or non-earning spouse receives continuing income. After all, the spouse who is dependent on the other party financially may be in this situation because he or she chose to forego his or her career to stay at home with the children. Receiving alimony will give this individual time to develop brand-new job skills so that he or she can be financially self-sufficient long term.
How much alimony can you expect?
Alimony payment amounts are based on a number of factors, including the following:
- You and your spouse's standard of living
- The length of your marriage
- The amount of time you would need to complete a training or education program that would help you to be self-sufficient
- You and your spouses' ages, physical conditions, emotional states and financial conditions
- Your spouse's ability to support you while also taking care of himself or herself
This is the opposite of how courts handle child support payments. Unlike alimony, courts determine child support based on specific state guidelines in Arizona and other states.
How long will you receive alimony?
Alimony today is typically considered rehabilitative, meaning your ex-spouse must pay for as long as you need it, until you are able to support yourself. If your divorce decree features no specific termination date for alimony, your ex will have to keep paying it until the family law court orders him or her to stop doing so.
Of course, if you end up getting married, you can expect your alimony awards to end. An applied understanding of the law may help you to maximize the amount of alimony you end up getting as part of your divorce proceeding.