Phoenix, AZ – Alimony payments are meant to help a spouse who earned less during their marriage maintain their standard of living for a certain span of time after a divorce. However, alimony payments are not always awarded to one member of the couple just because they earned less. Arizona law has specific requirements that outline when a person is eligible to receive payments.
The state’s statute for alimony lists the relevant requirements and procedures that judges must follow during a divorce case. There is no specific formula used by the state and judges will look at the specific circumstances that are pertinent to the case at hand.
The judge will look at the couple’s standard of living and related factors. This can include income, living situation, evidence about how the two members of the couple actually spent their time, and activities such as travel and leisure that require disposable income.
Child custody is considered by the judge as well when determining an alimony payment. This means that if some extra money is needed to help pay for children after the divorce, the parent with custody can potentially receive a larger alimony payment.
Since couples will generally be filing a no fault divorce, things like adultery, abandonment, and domestic violence will not be considered in the alimony determination. The state does not force one spouse to pay the other a higher amount as punishment for past behavior.
Duration of payments
The judge assigned to the divorce case has final discretion regarding how long alimony payments will last. In most cases, alimony will last long if the couple was together for several years or decades. However, it is common for the payments to last about one third of the length of the marriage or even less. If the spouse receiving the payments remarries or starts to live with another person, then the spouse making the payments can move the court to have them terminated.
Agreements between the spouses
A couple can choose to bypass the court process if they agree upon alimony payments after their marriage. This can include both the amount and duration of the payments, and it will be listed somewhere in a divorce settlement. Many couples choose to have a quicker, more efficient divorce by creating a settlement with the help of a mediator. These kinds of divorce agreements tend to save large amounts of time and money.
Assistance from a family law firm in Arizona
Schneider and Onofry is a trusted family law practice that helps people in Phoenix. Anyone who is about to go through a divorce or child custody hearing can contact the firm to receive advice and representation from an experienced lawyer.
Firm contact info:
365 E Coronado Road, Phoenix AZ 85004