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How spousal support works in Arizona

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Readers of this blog know that there are many legal issues to contend with when going through a divorce. Property division, child custody, and child support can all be complicated matters, made even more difficult when prenuptial or postnuptial agreements or extenuating circumstances arise. Yet, Arizonans who seek to dissolve their marriage may also be concerned about spousal support. So what is spousal support and how can it affect an individual? The following may help answer that question.

Spousal support is payments made by one spouse for the purpose of supporting the other after a divorce. While this issue can certainly be addressed in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, many times the issue does not come up until dissolution begins. Spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance, may be ordered by a court if the seeking party lacks adequate property, is incapable of being self-sufficient, contributed to educational opportunities of the other party, or was part of a long-lasting marriage and is now too old to find sufficient employment to become self-sufficient.

Spousal maintenance is often limited in time and subject to factors that will be discussed at another time. However, it is important to recognize that spousal maintenance, no matter how short, can be life-saving option for many spouses. It can help cover living expenses, medical costs, and other expenses that otherwise may be unaffordable.

Whether an individual is seeking spousal support or trying to deny it, an individual can obtain substantial assistance from an experienced family law attorney. A compassionate and dedicated lawyer can help resolve a spousal support dispute while protecting his or her client's best interests to the fullest extent. This way, a divorcing party can hopefully reach a favorable resolution that leaves him or her ready to start his or her new life.

Source: The Judicial Branch of Arizona, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed on Oct. 27, 2014

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