Arizona Alimony and Spousal Support Laws
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Divorce is the process of legally ending a marriage. Arizona uses the term ‘dissolution of marriage’ in the place of divorce. These terms are synonymous.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary – may be granted as needed during the divorce proceedings.
- Short-Term – may be granted for a short period of time to help one spouse gain skills for employment or other reason as determined by the court.
- Long-Term or Permanent – may be granted if the court deems just, usually reserved for long-term marriages ending in dissolution.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Arizona
A court can order alimony to either spouse in Arizona. The parties may also make up their own agreement, and the court may grant the agreement if it finds that it is fair. Otherwise, the court may award support, but it must not consider the issue of marital misconduct in awarding support.
Arizona Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
The court may grant alimony if the spouse seeking support:
- Lacks sufficient assets to provide for basic needs;
- Has custody of a child from the marriage which prevents the spouse from working outside the home;
- Lacks earning ability to adequately self-support;
- Contributed to the education of the other spouse; or
- The marriage was of a long duration and due to age, employment is not feasible.
Other factors the court will consider are:
- Future earning capacity;
- Duration of marriage;
- Financial resources of receiving spouse;
- Misconduct as to assets;
- The ages, physical and mental condition of the parties; and
- Occupations and skills of the parties.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Arizona
Factors a court may consider for modification or termination include:
- Income of the supporting spouse;
- Change in available assets;
- Remarriage; and
Marital Fault in Arizona
Arizona does not require that one of the spouses prove blame to end a marriage. Thus, either party can file for dissolution based on irreconcilable differences.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Arizona?
The court has discretion to grant spousal support for any length of time it sees fit. The court will determine length of payments based on any disparity between the parties’ income and assets and other factors as it determines to be just.
Arizona Alimony Taxes
The paying spouse may take a deduction for paying alimony and the payee spouse must claim the support as income for federal tax purposes. This is the case where the support payments are court ordered.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Arizona
An Arizona divorce attorney can help you navigate the difficult process of marital dissolution. An attorney will advocate on your behalf, file the necessary paperwork, and help you through any difficulties.