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Spousal Maintenance or alimony is one of the biggest issues over which people fight. In Arizona, it is not punitive or meant to punish the other spouse for wrongdoing during the marriage. The purpose is to help the lesser earning spouse, where appropriate, become self-sufficient. There are several things the court must consider to first determine if someone qualifies to receive spousal maintenance and, if so, then how much and for how long. The Court is concerned with whether the lesser earning spouse is able to support him or herself, or if he or she has enough income producing assets to allow for self-support. The goal is to keep the lesser earning spouse from having to utilize state aid. In examining the second issue of how much and how long, the court has to examine very specific factors, some of which include the living circumstances of the parties’during their marriage, whether one party did not work outside of the home, the parties’ ages, health, education and employment background.
Unlike child support, there is no set schedule or guidelines to calculate spousal maintenance. Each case is very fact-specific and the results are often very inconsistent.
Spousal maintenance has important tax implications for both the party paying and the person receiving the money.
While no attorney should ever guarantee spousal maintenance will be obtained or avoided, there are certainly things an experienced attorney can do to help you with these issues.
If you want to request spousal maintenance or are concerned about your spouse requesting spousal maintenance, please call to schedule a consultation.
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