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Alimony/Spousal Maintenance

In Arizona, what is commonly known as "alimony" is referred to as spousal maintenance. Arizona does not follow any set calculation or formula for determining if spousal maintenance is appropriate, nor for how much or how long it should last.  Instead, this is left to the Court's discretion.  The Judge is guided by statute and is required to first look at four factors to determine if spousal maintenance is appropriate. Those factors are:

1. Does one spouse lack sufficient property, including property apportioned in the divorce, to provide for that spouse's reasonable needs.

2. Is the spouse unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that the custodian should not be required to seek employment outside the home or lacks earning ability in the labor market adequate to be self-sufficient.

3. Did one spouse contribute to the educational opportunities of the other spouse.

4. Is this a marriage of long duration and the spouse of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.

Once it is determined that spousal maintenance is appropriate, the Court then must decide how much per month should be awarded and for how long. Those factors are:

1. The standard of living established during the marriage.

2. The duration of the marriage.

3. The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.

4. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse's needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

5. The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.

6. The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.

7. The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse's income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.

8. The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.

9. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse's ability to meet that spouse's own needs independently.

10. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.

11. Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

12. The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved.

13. All actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim.

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