How Long Must Spousal Support Payments Be Made?
No matter how you cut it, divorce introduces change into lives of couples seeking to split up. Families that once relied on the contributions — financial and otherwise — of two adults are split in two. This can obviously create financial challenges, particularly if one spouse has a higher income than the other.
In order to bridge post-divorce financial gaps, settlements can include spousal maintenance. If it’s determined that one spouse is indeed eligible for alimony, then it is necessary to define how much should be paid. These aspects of spousal maintenance are defined by Arizona statute, but the term of payments may not be quite as clear.
Although state law provides some guidance in establishing the grounds and size of alimony payments, many aspects of reaching a settlement are open-ended. As such, couples are going to have to rely on legal guidance or other precedents to determine how long spousal support will be paid by one spouse to the other.
In considering the factors for how much alimony is paid, such as one spouse’s employment or ability to become employed, it may also be possible to lay the ground for terms of payments. Based on these factors, it may be possible to secure temporary or permanent alimony.
A temporary order for alimony may be wise in a case where one spouse simply needs time to get on his or her feet and find a job that pays adequately. At the same time, a spouse who is living with a disability may need permanent alimony to make ends meet.
Of course, either spouse’s financial circumstance may change over time. If this is the case, it may be worthwhile to look into the possibility of modifying an original spousal maintenance settlement.
Working within the context of Arizona law and an individual couple’s unique circumstances can be complex. As such, it may be most helpful to speak with a Phoenix alimony attorney to receive specific guidance.