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Arizona Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Questions & Answers
Spousal maintenance (sometimes referred to as “alimony”) is money paid by one spouse to the other as part of the divorce decree, or on a temporary basis while the divorce is pending. Spousal maintenance is paid separately from child support and is not a substitute for, or a supplement to, child support payments.
What factors are considered in determining Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance can be agreed to between the parties, or decided by the judge. If left up to the judge, the judge will consider the length of the marriage, the age and earning ability of the spouse who is asking for maintenance, the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage, the ability of the other spouse to pay and what the person who is asking for the maintenance contributed to the marriage. The court has established spousal maintenance guidelines to aid the court in determining an appropriate amount of support.
Are Spousal Maintenance payments taxable?
Spousal maintenance payments are taxable income to the receiving spouse, and tax deductible by the paying spouse.
How long is Spousal Maintenance required to be paid?
Generally, an order for spousal maintenance is for a specific period of time and is ordered so that the spouse who is receiving support prepares to get financially able to live without the payments.
Spousal maintenance ends when the spouse who receives the support remarries, dies, or when the amount of time for which it is ordered is over.Not every divorce case involves spousal maintenance. We look forward to talking with you regarding the likelihood of receiving or paying Spousal Maintenance.
Arizona recognizes what is termed a "covenant marriage," which is a higher standard of marriage. Unlike no-fault, where the grounds for the dissolution of the marriage are irretrievable breakdown, covenant marriages may be ended on grounds of 1) adultery, 2) conviction of a felony which mandates prison or death; 3) abandonment for more than one year, 4) commission of domestic violence against the spouse, child or relative, 5) living separately and continuously and without reconciliation for over two years, 6) living separately for over 1 year after a legal separation is obtained; 7) habitual use of drugs and alcohol, or 8) both spouses agree to the dissolution.
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