A marriage is entered into with the intention to create a long-lasting future with your significant other. Throughout the course of the marriage, couples establish a standard of living they can afford and desire. But if a marriage fails, this very standard of living becomes one of several factors used to determine a fair and adequate amount of spousal support. However, before a court makes this determination, it will have to first consider whether a spouse qualifies for support.
Qualifying for Arizona Spousal Support
In order to qualify for Arizona spousal support, a spouse must meet one of four possible thresholds outlined by Arizona statute. First, the law clearly states that an Arizona court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse if a spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs, which includes property apportioned to him or her.
Second, spousal support may be ordered by the court if a spouse is unable to be self-sufficient through appropriate employment or is caring for a child whose age or condition is such that the spouse cannot work.
Third, a spouse may be entitled to spousal support if they contributed to the other spouse’s educational opportunities. Finally, spousal support may be warranted if the parties had a marriage of long duration and the spouse is of an age that preclude self-sustaining employment.
If any of these four tests are met, you will qualify for spousal support. At this point, the court will then determine how much money is fair and adequate.
It is important to note that marital misconduct is not a factor in determining how much spousal support is fair and adequate.
Factors that are considered, however, include, but are not limited to:
- The established standard of living during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The age, physical health and emotional condition of the spouses
- Each party’s financial resources and their comparative earning capability
- The degree to which either spouse sacrificed their career to help the spouse and/or family
- The ability of a paying spouse to both meet both their needs and those of the spouse seeking support
As a general rule, the wealthier the couple was during the marriage, the higher the established standard of living. By extension, a higher standard of living usually translates into higher levels of spousal support.
Length of Spousal Support
Once an amount of spousal support is determined by the court, the next question is how long a spouse will receive support. Generally, longer periods of spousal support are awarded to spouses who were married for a long time. Long-term spousal support may be awarded if a spouse lives with a disability, is too old to work or has health issues.
In short, there is no easy formula to determine how much spousal support you will receive or how long you should receive it. At Hallier Lawrence, we will ensure that you and your family needs are fairly represented so that you can obtain just and adequate support.
Contact us today at Hallier Lawrence to discuss your legal questions and concerns on obtaining spousal support that will secure you and your children’s future.