Spousal support is a common point of contention for many Arizona couples ending their marriages. However, this issue can only be seriously discussed once marital assets have been divided. It’s this step that allows a fair determination of what type of financial assistance, if any, a lesser-earning spouse may need from their soon-to-be ex. Several factors are taken into consideration to figure out support-related issues.

The first factor typically considered is the recipient spouse’s needs. The paying spouse’s ability to pay is also taken into consideration as is the length of the marriage. Additional factors can vary by state, but a court is also likely to consider a lesser-earning spouse’s lifestyle during the marriage. The age and health of both spouses may be taken into account as well.

The purpose of spousal support is to minimize the economic impact of divorce for a lower-earning spouse. In order to do this in a way that’s fair to both parties, a court may look at other unique circumstances, such as if minor children are involved. In some situations, rehabilitative maintenance may be ordered on a temporary basis to give a spouse sufficient time to become financially independent. It’s also possible for spousal support to be changed by the court if circumstances change. However, some couples prefer to opt for non-modifiable spousal support to avoid potential payment disruptions.

In order to be better prepared for unexpected events, a family law attorney may structure the divorce agreement so that the paying spouse is required to have disability and life insurance. This would allow payments to continue if the spouse making payments is temporarily unable to work or if they pass away. For the paying spouse, a lawyer may recommend purchasing an annuity contract to make it easier to fund required payments.