Going through divorce in Arizona can be a bittersweet ordeal. You may look forward to reclaiming your independence in terms of your living situation. However, at the same time, you may be far from being financially independent.
Fortunately, you may be eligible for spousal support from your future ex-spouse. Here is a look at how spousal support works and what your rights are when it comes to pursuing these types of payments.
What exactly is alimony?
Alimony refers to the support payments that one spouse makes to the other party following their divorce. Specifically, this continuing stream of income goes to the spouse who did not earn money -- or who earned less money -- during the marriage.
Alimony's purpose is to minimize any unjust effects of divorce that one spouse may experience from an economic standpoint. After all, perhaps you decided to stay home to take care of the children during your marriage, meaning that you gave up the opportunity to pursue a lucrative career. In this situation, the alimony payments you receive might give you enough time to grow your skill set so that you can support yourself going forward.
How much alimony will you receive?
The divorce court will determine if you should receive alimony and, if so, how much you will receive based on various factors. These factors might include the following:
- How long you and your spouse were married
- Your standard of living while you were married
- How much time you will need to train to support yourself financially
- Your and the other party's financial conditions, emotional states, physical conditions and ages
- Your future ex's ability to support you while still taking care of his or her own financial needs
The court may set a specific time period for you to receive your alimony payments. If no time period is specified in your divorce decree, the payments have to continue until a judge orders otherwise. However, if you remarry, you can expect your support payments to come to an end.
What if your spouse suddenly stops paying alimony?
If your future ex-spouse is not consistent with his or her alimony payments, it is within your rights to try to force payment in a court contempt proceeding. Just as an attorney can help you to fight for the maximum amount of alimony possible during your divorce proceeding, your attorney can help you to enforce an alimony order as needed in the years following your marital breakup.