Spousal support payments, which may arise as a temporary payment while a divorce is pending, can end up being a permanent aspect of a divorce decree. As with other elements of a divorce that involve money, spousal support payments – which may also be referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance payments – can end up being a huge point of contention, stress and debate both during and after a divorce.
Given this fact – as well as the fact that disputes or other issues regarding spousal support can become as expensive as they are heated and combative, it’s critical to retain a Phoenix spousal support and divorce attorney at Goldman Law, LLC to ensure that:
- Your rights are fully protected during such matters.
- All issues regarding alimony are resolved as favorably as possible for you.
Determining the Amount of Alimony / Spousal Support Payments
When a couple cannot agree upon the amount of spousal support payments in a given divorce case, it will be up to the court to decide if alimony should be granted to a lower-earning spouse and, if so:
- The amount of maintenance payments that should be awarded
- How long these payments should continue.
As with child support payments, a complicated formula is used by the courts to determine the amount of spousal support payments. However, the courts may deviate from this formula if a couple formally requests this (and if the courts agree that straying from the formula would be more appropriate for a given case).
Regardless of whether a specific formula is used or not to determine the amount of spousal maintenance payments, however, the following factors will typically play a role in determining the amount of these payments:
- How long a couple was married
- The financial status of the individual requesting alimony (including what marital property and/or child support payments may have already been awarded to that individual)
- The future earning potential of the person requesting maintenance and whether any additional education or training would be necessary for that individual to land a job at some point in the future
- The age and health (physical and mental health) of the individual requesting spousal support
- The payee’s ability to meet the financial obligations of spousal support and still meet his or her own personal financial obligations.
Because Arizona is a “no-fault” divorce state, aspects like infidelity or any fault in the divorce will NOT be a consideration when it comes to determining the amount of spousal support payments in a divorce case.
Modifying Spousal Support Payments
As with child support payments, spousal support payments are not set in stone once they are part of a divorce decree. Instead, either spouse may petition the courts to modify these payments if or when some aspect of either spouse’s financial situation changes in the future.
For instance, if the person who has been ordered to pay alimony ends up losing his job and/or becoming disabled and unable to work at some point in the future, then he or she can petition the courts to modify the maintenance payments to meet the new financial situation. Similarly, if the person who has been receiving spousal maintenance payments ends up remarrying, (s)he can inform the courts of this new status, which would likely result in the termination of spousal support payments.
In addition to establishing and modifying spousal support payments, there are many other issues and disputes that can arise with these payments, including (but not limited to) issues regarding the enforcement of these payments, maintenance payment tax issues, etc.
Therefore, it’s strongly advised that people who are involved in a divorce in which spousal support will be requested – or who may need any assistance with issues related to maintenance payments – retain a Phoenix spousal support and divorce attorney at Goldman Law, LLC to ensure their best interests are advocated and they are able to resolve their alimony issues and disputes as beneficially as possible.
Phoenix Divorce Lawyer at Goldman Law, LLC
Do you need help with any issue related to spousal support payments? If so, you can trust a Phoenix divorce attorney at Goldman Law, LLC to advocate your rights and provide you with superior representation in your case. Whether you need help establishing spousal support, modifying maintenance obligations or enforcing court orders regarding alimony, you can rely on a Phoenix spousal support lawyer at Goldman Law, LLC to help you obtain the best possible outcome to your case.
To learn more about how we can help you with various spousal support issues and disputes, contact us by calling (602) 698-5520 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our office in Phoenix, we serve clients throughout Arizona.