Yuma, AZ – Alimony is considered an important way for a spouse who has made sacrifices during a marriage to obtain financial stability after a divorce. However, this is also a serious obligation for the person making the payments and there can be consequences for failing to comply with an order to pay alimony. The gravity of this situation entails that most people dealing with a divorce and the possibility of spousal maintenance payments should have adequate legal representation from an experienced attorney.
Based on state law, Arizona courts can award alimony payments to a spouse who will experience financial hardship following a divorce. However, the state has unique ways of calculating these amounts and deciding how long they should be paid.
The discretion of the judge
Arizona family judges have wide latitude in determining what alimony amount is appropriate, as well as the duration of the payments. Most other states use some kind of formula based on income to determine alimony payments, but judges in Arizona are not restricted in this manner. Two of the most important factors used by the judge are the length of the marriage and the couple’s standard of living. However, other factors may be used to determine an alimony amount and duration, including who has custody of the children, whether the spouse receiving the payments can become financially independent, and the future earning potential of each party.
Other ways to determine alimony
A common procedure in many divorce cases in recent years is to resort to mediation. This means that both spouses will have to attend a session with a neutral mediator who will try to come to an agreement on alimony payments. The benefit is that other disputes related to the divorce can be resolved with the mediator as well.
When does alimony end?
There are several different ways for alimony payments to legally come to an end. The most common reasons are that the spouse remarries, or the term listed in the final divorce order comes to an end. It is also possible that either spouse who was a party to the divorce is deceased, then the obligation will end.
Courts also have the authority to modify or terminate a plan to make alimony payments if one or both spouses petition the court to reconsider the alimony award based on changed circumstances such as changes in income, job losses, or moving to new locations.
Help during the process of a divorce and alimony payments
Schneider and Onofry is a firm that focuses on family law cases in the Yuma, Arizona area. They can be contacted with any questions about divorce, alimony, child support, custody hearings, or various other issues.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364