Alimony Attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona
Nothing about divorce is easy, but with a little patience and the help of a great lawyer, you can work through any issue and come to an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. One of the most delicate issues that comes up in a divorce is alimony (also called spousal support). Because alimony is never automatically awarded, you may be wondering who is entitled to alimony and how it is determined.
For help answering your questions and to speak with experienced family law attorneys, reach out to us at Faussette & Faussette PLLC, proudly serving clients throughout the greater Phoenix area.
Overview of Alimony in Arizona
Alimony is a type of financial support that’s paid by one former spouse to another per the terms of a divorce decree. It is never automatically granted. Either the couple can agree to an amount and duration of payment, or a judge will rule whether alimony is appropriate for your case. Furthermore, there are a few different types of alimony that you may encounter.
The first type of alimony is only paid temporarily (usually measured in months) while the divorce is being processed and is meant to help out one spouse during the transitional time while the case is being resolved in the courts.
There are also options for short-term or rehabilitative support, which are designed to last longer than a temporary order. This type of alimony can last for a year or more and is ideal when one spouse needs extra financial support to reestablish their life on their own or obtain further education or training to increase their personal income. Payments for short-term alimony may be ordered to stop on a certain date or an unfixed date (such as when the receiving spouse becomes employed).
Lastly, there are some cases when permanent alimony is warranted, but this is not very common. Permanent alimony is usually only awarded when one spouse is unable to earn enough money on their own due to age or disability.
Who Is Entitled to Alimony?
Any alimony request will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and no spouse is ever “entitled” to it without first presenting their petition to a judge. However, you’re more likely to be awarded alimony if you were married for a long time or if you were unable to work during your marriage. That said, it’s always up to the discretion of a judge whether it will be awarded.
Determination of Type, Amount, and Duration
When a judge evaluates your case, they’ll look at several factors. This could include how much each spouse was earning during the marriage, the amount of non-paid work each spouse was doing (for example, if one spouse was a stay-at-home parent), the standard of living during the marriage, the ability of each spouse to earn enough money on their own, the length of the marriage, and the ability of one spouse to pay alimony. Using this information, the judge will decide on an amount that will be paid as well as determine how long payments should be made. Importantly, a judge will not consider marital misconduct when making this decision.
Making Changes to Current Alimony/Spousal Support Agreements
If you need help with modifying a spousal support amount, you’ll need to submit a petition to the courts outlining your reasoning. Whether you’re the payer or payee, you’ll have to prove that you’ve experienced a material change in circumstances and that the agreed-upon amount is no longer tenable. This could mean that one party has remarried, had another child, or gained or lost a job.
Alimony Attorneys Serving Phoenix, Arizona
If you have questions about whether spousal support is necessary for your divorce, reach out to us at Faussette & Faussette PLLC to speak with experienced alimony attorneys. We’re proud to serve clients throughout the Valley, its surrounding cities, and across the state of Arizona, including Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Goodyear.