Understanding Alimony in Arizona
By Zachary Mushkatel on April 10, 2013
Alimony, often called “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance,” is money that one spouse pays to the other spouse. It may be paid during a divorce, after the divorce is final, or during both periods.
Men and women are equally eligible to pay or to receive spousal maintenance payments in Arizona. Maintenance is awarded and amounts are set depending on the specific financial situation of the parties, not depending on each person’s sex. The purpose of alimony is to ensure that a lower-earning spouse can pay for necessities, like food and shelter.
Temporary spousal maintenance, which lasts only for a specific period of time, is more common in Arizona than permanent or indefinite maintenance. Often, the purpose of alimony is “rehabilitative,” which means that it is to provide a spouse with some support while he or she develops the skills or finds the job or other support needed to support him- or herself.
Spousal maintenance is not awarded in every divorce case. First, the court must find that one spouse has a financial need and the other has the ability to pay. “Financial need” may be based on factors like one spouse’s lack of property after the settlement to pay for basic needs; the support one spouse gave the other in terms of education opportunities, or an inability to support him- or herself via appropriate employment – for instance, if one spouse has a disabling medical condition.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in Arizona or have recently begun the divorce process, the dedicated Phoenix divorce attorneys at Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, can help. Contact us today to learn more.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.