What Disqualifies a Spouse From Receiving Alimony in Arizona?

By Cindy Chung

Alimony, known as spousal maintenance in Arizona, often becomes a disputed legal issue when a couple ends a marriage. Spousal support can affect both spouses' finances after divorce. One spouse may worry about not receiving enough alimony, while the other spouse might fear the court will require too much alimony. In Arizona, state law establishes a list of factors to determine whether a spouse qualifies to receive spousal maintenance.

Alimony Factors in Arizona Law

Arizona has established a list of alimony factors in the Arizona Revised Statutes. The list of factors allows a state court to grant spousal maintenance if required by at least one factor on the list — however, no single factor automatically disqualifies a spouse from receiving alimony. Each spouse's alimony rights depend on a state court's review of the alimony factors included in state law. As the factors relevant to each couple may vary, each spouse might benefit from legal advice given by an attorney with expertise in Arizona divorces.

Duration of Marriage

The duration of the couple's marriage may affect whether a spouse qualifies for alimony. Arizona divorce laws specifically include the duration of the marriage as one of the factors considered by the state courts when deciding whether to award spousal maintenance. However, state law does not identify a minimum duration that would qualify a spouse to receive alimony.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Each Spouse's Finances and Personal Circumstances

Arizona's alimony factors take into account each spouse's personal circumstances, financial situation and employment. State law specifically considers whether the spouse requesting alimony lacks sufficient property or ability to become self-sufficient through employment. Although a significant amount of property or a high income through employment might affect the court's determination of alimony, the court may consider all factors established by Arizona law when issuing a court order for spousal maintenance.

Fault in Ending the Marriage

A spouse might wonder if fault in ending the marriage can disqualify someone from receiving alimony. For example, a husband or wife might want to limit alimony for an unfaithful spouse. In the dissolution of a regular marriage that is not a covenant marriage in Arizona, the only ground considered is whether the spouses have an irretrievably broken marriage. Although Arizona divorce laws allow for a discussion of each spouse's conduct during the dissolution of a covenant marriage, the state's alimony factors do not specifically include a factor for marital misconduct and other fault grounds. Accordingly, a spouse's marital misconduct does not automatically lead to disqualification from alimony.

Premarital Agreement

A couple can choose to limit or eliminate alimony through a premarital agreement, which is an optional contract signed by the parties before marriage. In the event of a divorce, an Arizona court may uphold the couple's agreement and disqualify a spouse from receiving alimony. Arizona divorce laws include an exception, however, if a spouse would otherwise become eligible for public assistance or welfare benefits without alimony — in this situation, a state court may decline to uphold the premarital agreement barring spousal maintenance.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Pennsylvania Laws on Inherited Money When Divorcing

References

Resources

Related articles

Desertion Penalty in a Maryland Divorce

When a relationship goes through a difficult time or reaches an end, a husband or wife may decide to leave the marital home. If one spouse leaves or abandons the other, desertion may become a legal issue if the couple divorces in Maryland. In some cases, spousal desertion can penalize a spouse in alimony, property and other divorce-related legal issues.

Alimony Laws in Tennessee

Alimony is a monetary award paid to the financially weaker spouse after a divorce. Tennessee courts can award one of several types of alimony available, based on a number of factors that generally include duration of marriage, age and mental health of the receiving spouse, and education and potential need for training for the receiving spouse. The type of alimony awarded is based on the spouses' circumstances, and the court may award more than one type of alimony, where appropriate. The law also dictates when alimony can be modified, as well as when the obligation to pay terminates.

What Can a Spouse Waive in a Legal Separation?

State laws determine each spouse's rights during legal separation — these rights are often similar to the rights of spouses in a divorce. In an agreement for legal separation, a spouse can waive rights regarding assets, debts, alimony and other financial issues. Spouses can waive their own rights, but they often cannot waive rights related to their children. A husband or wife should fully understand the rights given by state law before signing a separation agreement that waives any of those rights.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Divorce & Alimony in Illinois

During divorce, couples need to decide whether one spouse will pay alimony to the other spouse. Every marriage is ...

Separation Rights and Abandonment in Vermont

When a husband or wife chooses to leave the marital home, the abandoned spouse often faces financial worries or legal ...

Wyoming Laws on Alimony

Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid by a party to a former spouse. Wyoming, like all states, has a specific set ...

Is it True a Husband Always Has to Pay Alimony When They Get Divorced?

When couples divorce, one or both spouses may ask the court to award alimony, also known as spousal support and ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED