No one walks down the aisle expecting divorce to meet them at the end, but sometimes divorce becomes the inevitable end of a marriage and the beginning of a new journey. The divorce process is never a happy experience, but alimony is inarguably the most hotly contentious issue in Arizona family court. Spousal maintenance payments serve to bridge a gap in incomes between divorcing spouses, especially when one spouse’s role in the marriage was focused on homemaking and raising children to the detriment of their own career advancement. The support payments from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earner allow them time to adjust to independence and develop a strategy for achieving self-sufficiency. Although they’re typically temporary, in some circumstances, the court could order permanent alimony; for instance, if one spouse became disabled during the marriage or if the union lasted into old age.
If you’re facing a divorce in Glendale and alimony is a contentious aspect of your divorce case, a Glendale divorce attorney with decades of experience navigating this important part of the state’s divorce law is your best ally during negotiations or in court. At Stewart Law Group of Glendale, we know a lot is at stake in your Arizona alimony case. Contact our Glendale office today so we can argue aggressively for your rights and desired outcomes with our winning track record behind you throughout the process.
How an Attorney Can Help Your Alimony Case
Alimony in Arizona is a complex area of law, depending largely on nuanced areas of understanding within the law. For instance, demonstrating how much one partner may have sacrificed career opportunities and experience due to their role in the family dynamics during the marriage. An experienced Glendale alimony lawyer can help deftly navigate Arizona laws determining when spousal maintenance is applicable in a divorce, the amount of the maintenance obligation due, and for how long the paying spouse should continue the maintenance payments to the lower-earning spouse. Our team of attorneys has over 100 combined years of experience navigating the evolving Arizona alimony laws. Your Glendale alimony attorney will maximize your chances of achieving your desired outcome through the following:
- Using our strong negotiating skills to work out a mutually acceptable resolution for alimony, including the amount of monthly support and the duration of the maintenance with a reasonable amount of time for the lower-earning spouse to gain self-sufficiency
- Negotiate permanent alimony for those who may be unable to achieve independence due to disability, impairment, age, or decades spent out of the workforce
- Carefully assessing the financial situation of both spouses to determine assets vs. debts as well as income levels of both parties to determine if the Arizona alimony laws are applicable in the divorce
- Explain every step of the process so you know what to expect and every possible contingency in your case
- Carefully analyze all disclosed financial information from the other spouse to make the best possible assessment before negotiating an amount and duration of the spousal maintenance order
- Defend higher-earning spouses from being unfairly targeted or tasked with an undue amount and duration of spousal maintenance orders
- Defend our lower-earning spouses’ rights to receive fair support for the duration necessary to gain independence and confidence in the workforce or indefinitely if the circumstances suggest this is fair and reasonable
- Work diligently and aggressively to ensure that the final judgment is most favorable to you
Call our Glendale alimony attorneys today so we can begin strategizing for the best possible outcome for your unique case.
Determining Which Spouse Receives Alimony
Arizona state courts acknowledge that marriage is more than just a love connection, it’s also a legal contract made between two adult parties. As with any legal contract, ending it requires meeting obligations under the original terms—including providing reasonable support from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earner who sacrificed their own career goals and advancement under the “terms” of their marital environment. Determining which spouse pays alimony to the other in Arizona divorces requires ascertaining the following:
- If one spouse doesn’t have sufficient assets or didn’t retain enough assets during the distribution of the marital property to facilitate financial independence, then the other spouse bears the legal obligation to provide spousal maintenance until such time as the disadvantaged spouse rebuilds their assets
- If one spouse supported the other spouse during their education or career advancement, then the spouse who benefited from the support in order to advance now owes financial support to the spouse who previously supported them to the detriment of their own career advancement
- If one spouse focused on homemaking and raising the children from the marriage rather than remaining in the workforce, or was unable to advance their education or career due to their duties to the children and home, then the other spouse must pay temporary or permanent alimony
- If the divorcing spouses have young children making it difficult or impossible to focus on a career, then the other spouse must pay spousal maintenance until such time the children don’t require the parent’s full-time care
- If the marriage was of long duration and one spouse remained out of the workforce or has become too elderly to work, the other spouse must pay them spousal maintenance indefinitely
- If one spouse became disabled during the marriage, the other spouse must pay spousal support either temporarily or permanently depending on the circumstances and ability of the disabled spouse to become self-sufficient.
When spouses file for divorce in Arizona, either spouse may request temporary alimony until they have time to adjust to independence or permanent alimony if warranted by the circumstances. Contact a Glendale family law lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.
Modifying Alimony Payments
Divorced individuals may seek a modification of their existing spousal support orders if they’ve experienced a significant and lasting change in circumstances unless they’ve signed an agreement prohibiting modification.
Whether you are a paying or receiving spouse, you can request an alimony modification if the following is true:
- Your income level and/or employment status has changed since the initial order
- Your or your spouse’s expenses have suddenly increased
- If you’re a paying spouse and your ex-spouse has become self-sufficient
- If both parties have agreed to a change in the amount and/or duration of the support order
- If there’s been a change in child custody in the case
- If there’s been a sudden change in education expenses or medical expenses for either party
The court must carefully consider if any change in circumstances is lasting or significant before deciding to modify an existing order for spousal support.
If you need a strong attorney with a powerful local reputation on your side when facing the issue of spousal support orders or making changes to your orders, the lawyers at the Glendale alimony attorneys at Stewart Law Group are the most powerful allies you can have on your side throughout the process.