Mesa Spousal Maintenance Attorneys
Handling Alimony Cases in the East Valley
Sometimes referred to as alimony or spousal support, spousal maintenance is a form of financial support paid by one spouse to another to help them sustain themselves. It can be paid during or after a divorce.
In making an order for spousal maintenance, the court must determine:
- Whether the requesting spouse is eligible
- The amount of maintenance to be paid
- How long the maintenance will last
Whether you are the spouse seeking or paying alimony, you deserve to work with an attorney who truly cares about protecting your rights and ensuring a positive outcome in your case. At Edwards & Petersen | PLC, our Mesa spousal maintenance lawyers have the experience you are seeking. We are determined to help you pursue the support you need or to avoid overpaying in spousal support.
Spousal Maintenance Eligibility in Arizona
Determining eligibility requires a finding that one spouse has financial need AND that the other spouse is capable of paying.
Common reasons the court may award spousal maintenance include:
- One spouse contributed to the education of the other
- One spouse does not have the assets or resources to be self-sufficient
- One spouse is unable to obtain adequate employment to provide for their reasonable needs
In its determination of self-sufficiency, the judge reviews the petitioner’s experience, skill level, and even the labor market. If the marriage was long-lasting and one spouse fulfilled the role of homemaker throughout, the judge may order that the petitioner’s age and lack of professional experience warrant an order of spousal maintenance. A similar decision may occur when the couple has young children or a child with a disability, which often makes obtaining adequate full-time employment difficult.
Determining the Award Amount
If the court determines there is a need for spousal maintenance, it considers a variety of factors in arriving at a support amount and duration for the maintenance.
The court considers:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The standard of living that the couple enjoyed during their marriage
- Each party’s age
- Each party’s employment history and marketable skills
Courts compare both spouses’ resources and earning capacity and determine the paying spouse’s ability to financially support both parties. The court also looks at ways the spouse seeking maintenance contributed to the earning capacity, education, and career opportunities of the paying spouse. In Arizona, the final decision on spousal support rests with the judge.
Types of Spousal Maintenance
There are four types of spousal maintenance:
- Temporary support is provided before the divorce is finalized and is intended to help cover the needs of one spouse during the pendency of the divorce case.
- Rehabilitative support typically lasts for a fixed period determined by either the court or via an agreement between spouses. There are two common reasons for rehabilitative support: To assist the spouse receiving support as he or she works toward attaining self-sufficiency, or to allow the custodial parent of young children to remain home with the child(ren) until the youngest child begins school.
- Reimbursement support reimburses one spouse for expenses he or she paid in support of the other. One of the more common reasons for reimbursement support is when one spouse worked to help put the other through college and build a career. Reimbursement support may be paid over time or in one lump sum.
- Permanent support lasts until the death of either the payor or the payee; it may also end if the payee remarries (but not always). The payee may also request the payor carry a life insurance policy naming the payee as beneficiary. Either party may petition the court for an adjustment in the support amount unless the parties agree that it will not be modified.
Call Edwards & Petersen | PLC
If you are considering divorce or need to include or respond to a petition for alimony, Edwards & Petersen | PLC is here to help. We take the time to understand your financial needs, resources, and assets. On top of that, our Mesa spousal maintenance attorneys are deeply familiar with the state laws that govern alimony awards.
To discuss your situation with our firm, please call us at (480) 418-5656.
I couldn't have made it through the most difficult time in my families' lives if it weren't for the support I received from Brian Petersen and Josh Edwards.
-Michelle (Former Client)
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