Spousal Support Lawyer Phoenix AZ
When you are struggling financially after divorce proceedings, you can consider filing for spousal support to help supplement your income. Spousal support can help you take care of dependents or to manage your home when you are making little to no wages. When your ex-partner is unwilling to help you, speak to an attorney about your situation. A spousal support lawyer can educate you on how to initiate a spousal support claim.
Get a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys to find out how you can receive fair spousal support compensation. Contact our family law office Cosmas Onyia now to consult with our team today.
What is reasonable spousal maintenance in Arizona?
In Arizona, spousal maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, is financial support paid by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce. The amount and duration of spousal maintenance are determined by Arizona law, which provides guidelines for determining a reasonable amount of spousal maintenance payments. This is based on several factors:
- The length of the marriage
- The income and earning potential of both spouses
- The educational level and training of both spouses
- The financial resources and assets of both spouses
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The age and health of both spouses
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including homemaking and child-rearing
How many years do you have to be married to get alimony in Arizona?
In Arizona, there is no specific minimum length of marriage required to qualify for spousal support. The court will consider a variety of factors in determining whether spousal support is appropriate, including the length of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage.
In general, longer marriages are more likely to result in an award of spousal support. This is especially if one spouse has significantly greater earning power or financial resources than the other. The duration of spousal support may be affected by the length of the marriage, with longer marriages typically resulting in longer spousal support awards.
Why Do Ex-Spouses Receive Spousal Support and Who Qualifies For it?
In Arizona, ex-spouses may receive spousal support for a variety of reasons. The purpose of spousal support is to help the recipient spouse achieve financial independence and stability following a divorce. Some of the reasons why spousal support may be awarded in Arizona include:
If one spouse has significantly greater earning power or financial resources than the other, the court may award spousal support to help equalize the financial resources of the spouses.
Standard of Living
When the spouses have established a certain standard of living during the marriage, the court may award spousal support to ensure that the recipient spouse is able to maintain that standard of living following the divorce.
Contributions to the Marriage
If one spouse contributed significantly to the marriage in ways that did not involve paid employment, such as homemaking, child-rearing, or supporting the other spouse’s career, the court might award spousal support to recognize those contributions.
Education and Training
When the recipient spouse needs additional education or training to become financially independent, the court may award spousal support to help cover the costs of that education or training.
Age and Health
Whenever the recipient spouse is older, has poor health, or is less able to support themselves financially, the court may award spousal support to provide financial assistance.
Is spousal maintenance the same as spousal support?
Spousal maintenance and spousal support refer to the same thing. These terms are used interchangeably to describe the financial support that one spouse may be ordered to pay to the other spouse following a divorce.
Arizona Spousal Support Agreements for Spousal Support
Spouses have the option to create a spousal maintenance agreement as part of their divorce settlement. A spousal maintenance agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms of spousal support to be paid by one spouse to the other after the divorce. The basics of an Arizona spousal maintenance agreement typically include:
Amount of Support
The agreement should specify the amount of spousal support to be paid by one spouse to the other.
Duration of Support
Your agreement should also specify the duration of spousal support payments. This could be a fixed term or until a certain event occurs, such as the recipient spouse remarrying or becoming self-supporting.
Modification and Termination
The agreement should include provisions for modifying or terminating spousal support in the event of a change in circumstances, such as a change in income or employment status.
Your agreement should address the tax implications of spousal support payments, including whether they are tax-deductible for the paying spouse and taxable as income for the recipient spouse.
Tax Considerations for Alimony Payments and Spousal Support
There are several tax considerations that you should be aware of if you are paying or receiving spousal support in Arizona. Here are some more detailed tax considerations to keep in mind:
Tax Treatment of Spousal Support Payments
Spousal support payments in Arizona are generally considered taxable income for the recipient spouse and tax-deductible for the paying spouse. This means that the recipient spouse must report the spousal support payments as income on their tax return, while the paying spouse can deduct the payments from their taxable income.
Requirements for Deductibility
In order for spousal support payments to be tax-deductible for the paying spouse, they must meet certain requirements. Specifically, the payments must be made in cash or check rather than property or other assets. They should be made under a divorce or separation agreement and not be designated as child support or a property settlement.
Impact of Tax Changes
The tax treatment of spousal support payments changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which went into effect in 2019. Under the TCJA, spousal support payments are no longer tax-deductible for the paying spouse, and the recipient spouse no longer needs to report them as income. However, this change only applies to agreements entered into or modified after December 31, 2018.
Considerations for Lump Sum Payments
If spousal support payments are made in a lump sum rather than over time, the tax treatment may be different. For example, if a lump sum payment is designated as a property settlement rather than spousal support, it may not be tax-deductible for the paying spouse.
Determining the Amount of Alimony / Spousal Support Payments
If the parties have been married for less than five years, the duration of spousal maintenance is typically limited to one-half of the length of the marriage. When the parties were married for between five and ten years, the duration of spousal maintenance may be ordered for up to 60% of the length of the marriage. If the parties were married for between ten and twenty years, the duration of spousal maintenance might be ordered for up to 70% of the length of the marriage. When the parties were married for twenty years or more, the court may order spousal maintenance for an indefinite period of time, or until the receiving spouse remarries or passes away.
Modifying Spousal Support Payments
Child custody can impact alimony payments in Phoenix, Arizona, as it is one of the factors that the court considers when determining spousal maintenance. In general, if a parent has primary physical custody of the children, they may have higher expenses related to the care and support of the children, which could impact their financial need for spousal maintenance. Additionally, if the spouse who is seeking spousal maintenance has primary physical custody of the children, it could impact their ability to earn income, as they may have to devote more time to caring for the children instead of working. This can impact their financial need for spousal maintenance.
Does Child Custody In Phoenix Impact Alimony Payments?
Child custody can impact alimony payments in Phoenix, Arizona, as it is one of the factors that the court considers when determining spousal maintenance. In general, if a parent has primary physical custody of the children, they may have higher expenses related to the care and support of the children, which could impact their financial need for spousal maintenance.
How can the Law Office of Cosmas Onyia help?
When speaking to your ex-spouse about spousal support, you can get guidance and mediation with the help of a spousal support attorney. Whether to work as a mediator between you and your ex-spouse, begin negotiating a fair amount, or support you by representing your case in court, our law office can help. Allow spousal support lawyers to make sure that you are compensated and go through the legal process with little difficulty. If your spouse refuses to provide payments, the spousal support judgment can be legally enforced by court officials. Learn about spousal support, how the process works, and what to expect in your next steps. Speak to us today in consultation by contacting a family law attorney in Phoenix, AZ now.