Alimony can be a sensitive and complex subject for divorcing couples. Often called spousal maintenance, alimony aims to provide financial assistance to the less wealthy spouse following a divorce. The process of determining alimony can be emotionally draining, time-consuming, and contentious, making the expertise of an experienced alimony lawyer invaluable. If you need help, contact Stewart Law Group to schedule a consultation with a Scottsdale family attorney.
Why Hire Stewart Law Group For Alimony
If you need help with alimony, hiring a lawyer is one of the best steps you can take. Here’s why we’re the best choice:
- One of the significant benefits of working with the Stewart Law Group is our personalized approach to each case. We understand that every alimony case is unique and requires consideration of the specific circumstances involved.
- We understand the emotional toll divorce can have on our clients and work diligently to keep them informed, answer questions, and provide guidance every step of the way.
- The Stewart Law Group has a proven track record of success in securing favorable alimony settlements for our clients. By hiring us for your alimony case, you can have confidence that you will get the results you need.
How an Attorney Can Help You With an Alimony Case
When filing for divorce, it’s not uncommon for one of the primary concerns to be about finances. You should always work with a lawyer when dealing with alimony and other related matters. Here’s how a lawyer can be helpful:
- Explaining Arizona’s Alimony Laws
It is essential to have a thorough understanding of these laws and how they apply to your particular case. An experienced alimony lawyer in Arizona can explain the state’s specific alimony laws and evaluate your case’s eligibility for alimony. Additionally, they can help determine the type and duration of alimony necessary, and see that both parties receive fair treatment under the law.
When two parties are willing to negotiate on alimony terms, an alimony lawyer can be instrumental in guiding the negotiations to achieve a fair resolution. They can advise on the most effective negotiation strategies, provide realistic expectations, and advocate for your interests.
Additionally, if an agreement cannot be reached through negotiations, they can represent you in the mediation process. Here, a mediator is assigned to help both parties achieve a mutually agreeable solution. The role of the alimony lawyer during mediation is to give you a strong voice and ensure that your rights are protected.
When is Alimony Awarded?
In Arizona, it is up to the court to determine if alimony should be awarded. If you’re in the divorce process currently, a Scottsdale divorce attorney can help. This is done by looking at certain factors:
“In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse for any of the following reasons if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:
- Lacks sufficient property, including property apportioned to the spouse, to provide for that spouse’s reasonable needs.
- Lacks earning ability in the labor market that is adequate to be self-sufficient.
- Is the parent of a child whose age or condition is such that the parent should not be required to seek employment outside the home.
- Has made a significant financial or other contribution to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning ability of the other spouse or has significantly reduced that spouse’s income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.
- Had a marriage of long duration and is of an age that may preclude the possibility of gaining employment adequate to be self-sufficient.”
The length of time alimony will be awarded depends on the following factors:
- “The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse’s needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
- The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.
- The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.
- The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse’s income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.
- The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.
- The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse’s ability to meet that spouse’s own needs independently.
- The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.
- Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.
- The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved.
- All actual damages and judgments from conduct that resulted in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or a child was the victim.”
Penalties For Nonpayment
In Arizona, if the party ordered to pay spousal maintenance willfully fails to do so without a lawful excuse, they can be convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor can result in significant legal penalties.
If convicted, the obligor may face punishments such as:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Fines of up to $2,500 plus surcharges
- Probation for up to 3 years
Moreover, the obligor’s failure to pay may also be reported to credit bureaus, negatively impacting their credit score and ability to obtain loans or credit.
Contact Stewart Law Group To Schedule a Consultation
An experienced family law attorney will guide you through Arizona’s alimony process, provide valuable insight and legal counsel, and advocate for your best interests. Contact Stewart Law Group today to schedule a consultation.