THE SECOND STEP: DETERMINING THE AMOUNT AND DURATION OF SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE - Part 1 of 2
For both the paying spouse and the spouse who is not currently employed, the issue of how much spousal maintenance will be paid or received causes significant apprehension.
Financial uncertainty factors heavily into the divorce decision-making process – should I stay or should I go?
Even in cases where the parties have more equal bargaining power, and financial wherewithal, the uncertainty of how much money a spouse will pay or receive is still anxiety-inducing.
Spousal maintenance in Arizona is extremely subjective and case-specific. There are thirteen statutory factors that the Court must consider when determining how much spousal maintenance will be paid and for how long.
The following are the first seven factors, the Court must consider:
(1) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(2) The duration of the marriage.
(3) The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
(4) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse's needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
(5) The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.
(6) The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.
(7) The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse's income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.
As you can imagine, the Judge’s own personal views about each of the above factors can greatly influence the spousal maintenance award.
For information on spousal maintenance factors 8-13, please look for my next blog.
If you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at480.994.8824 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.