Divorce is always a difficult matter to face, both emotionally and legally. One of the most contentious matters on the table in many divorce disputes is alimony. Otherwise known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, alimony is an amount of money awarded from one spouse to another during a divorce either through a settlement agreement or by a judge’s orders. Alimony in Arizona is typically a monthly payment. Orders for alimony are generally of temporary duration for a specific amount of time. In cases of long-term marriages, or one spouse’s disability or elderly status, an order for alimony could be permanent.
Establishing an order for spousal support or responding to a request for alimony in a divorce in Anthem can be challenging. Call the Anthem alimony attorneys at Stewart Law Group today so we can help you navigate Arizona’s family court process for determining alimony during a divorce.
How an Attorney Can Help Your Alimony Case
Because an order for alimony continues a connection between divorcing spouses, it’s often hotly disputed by both sides. One spouse may feel that the other owes them support due to the sacrifices they made during the marriage, and the other spouse may feel resentful over an order to continue the financial support of an ex-spouse when they are ready to move on.
At Stewart Law Group, our legal team has over 100 years of combined legal experience to put a powerful strategy in place for achieving a favorable outcome in your case whether you are seeking alimony during a divorce, you are facing a possible alimony order, or you need a modification of your existing spousal support order.. An alimony lawyer in Anthem from Stewart Law Firm will do the following:
- File all motions and petitions promptly
- Guide you through the legal process and defend your rights and best interests through every step of the divorce and Arizona alimony order process
- Provide experienced legal counsel and an alimony calculating process to determine what the orders may entail in your unique case
- Advocate for the best possible resolution through a settlement or in a courtroom
Alimony orders are a serious matter. Failure to pay alimony may result in significant penalties and an arrest for contempt of court. If alimony orders are a part of your Arizona divorce case, you need an attorney with a deep knowledge of the state’s guidelines and requirements.
Who Qualifies for Alimony in Anthem Arizona?
Alimony payments are not automatically awarded in every Arizona divorce. The courts do not presume that one spouse owes the other support the way they presume a parent has an obligation to support their child. In today’s world, it’s increasingly common for both spouses to be entirely self-sufficient. However, an alimony order may be appropriate when a spouse qualifies for temporary spousal support due to any of the following reasons:
- When one spouse has insufficient property to be self-sufficient after the distribution of the marital property in the divorce
- When one spouse earns substantially less than the other spouse or was a non-earner during the marriage
- If one spouse sacrificed their education and career opportunities to support the other spouse’s education and career
- If one spouse left the workforce to care for the children and home
- If a spouse worked to support the other spouse through college or graduate school
- When a spouse has a disability
- When a spouse is over age 65 and the marriage was of long duration
Alimony is entirely separate from child support in Arizona. While the state holds that all parents must financially support their children, only when one spouse meets one or more of the above qualifications does a judge consider an alimony order. These orders are almost always temporary, with the intent of giving a financially disadvantaged spouse time to become self-sufficient after the divorce.
When can Alimony be Awarded?
Some states require spouses to be married for a specific length of time before the courts consider awarding alimony. However, Arizona doesn’t have a minimum required marital duration. Instead, a judge considers the unique circumstances of each case. Although alimony is more common after long-term marriages, it’s still possible for a judge to award temporary alimony for a marriage of short duration if there is a substantial difference between the spouses’ incomes. The judge will listen to arguments on both sides and consider all aspects of the individual case before coming to a decision. An alimony attorney in Anthem can help present your case in the most favorable light in front of the judge to seek the outcome you desire or a fair resolution.
A judge may award alimony when a couple separates pending divorce if one spouse would otherwise face financial hardship during the separation. In most cases, however, the judge awards alimony to a lower-earning spouse or non-earning spouse at the final divorce hearing when they issue permanent orders.
Modifying Alimony Payments
In most cases, alimony is a temporary order, issued for a specific period of time with the understanding that the spouse who receives the alimony will take the necessary steps toward self-sufficiency by finding or increasing employment, taking training courses, or pursuing further education. However, either spouse may seek a modification of their existing alimony orders if they experience a significant and ongoing change in circumstances such as any of the following:
- Loss of employment
- Disability or long-term illness
- One spouse’s substantial increase in salary or wages
- A spouse’s substantial decrease in salary or wages
An experienced alimony attorney in Anthem can help you seek a modification of existing orders by filing a motion and representing you throughout the process, including advocating for the modification in court.
Enforcing Alimony Payments in Anthem
Not complying with an order for alimony can result in contempt of court charges and an eventual arrest. Arizona has enforcement measures available for those in contempt for failure to pay alimony, including garnishing wages, intercepting tax returns, and suspending commercial and recreational licenses. Those significantly in arrears may have liens placed on any real estate property or other assets. Failing to pay alimony may also impact the spouse’s credit rating.
Call the Anthem Alimony Lawyers at Stewart Law Group Today
When one spouse faces a substantial decline in their lifestyle after a divorce or faces significant financial hardship, courts in Arizona seek to decrease this imbalance by awarding monthly spousal maintenance payments from one spouse to the other for a limited time or, less commonly, on a permanent basis. Because paying or receiving spousal support has a significant impact on both spouses in the divorce, it’s important to have skilled legal representation to protect your best interests. Call the Anthem family law attorneys at Stewart Law Group today so we can begin a legal strategy working toward the best possible resolution in your case.