When you face the end of your marriage, you also face several financial concerns. As a single-income household, can you keep up with your previous expenses? Will you have enough after property division to support yourself? In cases where the court orders spousal maintenance—sometimes called alimony or spousal support—you will have other unique concerns, including how long these payments will be a part of your finances.
The court will take a wide variety of factors into account.
Spousal maintenance gives ex-spouses a chance to reestablish their career, pursue an education, gain new job skills or otherwise gain a stronger foundation for supporting themselves after divorce. The court will usually establish the end date for alimony payments as a part of the spousal maintenance order based on a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage and how long it would take for the ex-spouse to become self-sufficient.
If the court does not define an end date, Arizona law provides further guidelines.
Depending on the particulars of your divorce case, the judge may not include a duration in the spousal maintenance order. This is often called permanent maintenance. The court may award permanent maintenance in cases where a lower-earning spouse cannot support themselves due to significant time away from the workforce, age, disability or illness.
In cases where the court does not expressly state a duration in the divorce decree, Arizona law states spousal maintenance ends either when one ex-spouse dies or when the receiving spouse remarries.
If you have questions about how long alimony will be a part of your life, speak to an experienced family law attorney. They can help you work toward a spousal maintenance that meets your needs and defends your future financial health.