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What are factors that judges consider to determine alimony?

When a marriage heads toward its end, there are several important financial decisions that a person has to make in addition to coping with the emotional challenges of ending a marriage. One such decision is regarding the demand for spousal maintenance, which is commonly known as alimony. According to its legal definition in Arizona, alimony is the money that is paid by one spouse to the other as part of the divorce decree. However, it is not necessary that every divorce will involve the payment of alimony.

In Arizona, the purpose of paying alimony is to make sure that the accomplishments of a marriage are shared equally by the separating spouses, much like how marital property is divided equally at the time of divorce. Alimony is particularly important for stay-at-home spouses and those spouses whose income is much less in comparison with the other spouse. By having the alimony provision, Arizona laws allow separating spouses to ensure that they are able to maintain a comfortable life even after divorce.

There are several factors based in which a judge determines the amount of alimony that is to be paid. The judge will look at the length of a marriage; the earning capability of the spouse who is seeking alimony; the paying capability of the spouse who is supposed to pay alimony; the alimony seeking spouse's contributions to the marriage; and the spouses' standard of living during the course of their marriage. Based on these factors, a judge determines what a reasonable spousal maintenance amount should be.

Determining alimony is an integral part of the divorce process. However, when one has to convince a judge regarding subjective details such as standard of living, earning capability or contribution toward marriage, it often proves to be a difficult task. Those people may find it beneficial to seek guidance from a legal professional. An experienced family law attorney's guidance may go a long way in resolving not just the issue of alimony but also the various other delicate issues that divorcing spouses have to deal with.

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