Spousal Maintenance – Tonya MacBeth

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Will you pay or will you receive spousal maintenance? That's a tough one. Arizona has a set of factors that judges evaluate to determine whether or not someone qualifies, and then the amount of support is based upon the ability to pay and the reasonable needs of the person. It is incredibly fact-dependent. What someone receives who lives a modest lifestyle is different than what someone would receive if they lead an extravagant lifestyle during the marriage. It's all within the judge's discretion.

If there is no agreement between the parties, there is a lot of variability between judges on the quantity of support that they award. They're more consistent about whether or not support is or is not awarded. One thing you can pretty much count on is that Arizona has a much shorter duration of support than other states, such as California. The qualifying for support generally starts around year seven of marriage. It's not a hard and fast rule, and it can vary, so it's important to get the legal guidance you need to assess your particular situation to answer that question.

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