How Long Will I Have to pay Spousal Support?

Settlement Photo
A Scottsdale divorce attorney explains factors can impact the duration of spousal support in AZ.

The duration of your spousal support obligation will depend on the terms of your divorce settlement/decree, as well as some other factors, which we will point out below.

Types of Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

Before diving into the discussion of how and when spousal support obligations can end in Arizona, it’s first important to understand the different types of spousal maintenance that can be awarded. Generally, the three types of spousal support payments in Arizona include:

  • Temporary spousal maintenance , which are the payments awarded while the divorce is proceeding (This may also be referred to as pendent lite, which roughly translates to “pending the final divorce.”)
  • Rehabilitative spousal maintenance , which is generally awarded when one spouse requires some financial assistance rejoining the work force
  • Permanent spousal maintenance , which are longer-term spousal support payments ordered as part of a final divorce decree or divorce settlement. If divorcing parties cannot come to an agreement on their own regarding the terms of ongoing spousal maintenance, the court will typically step in to make these determinations.

Below, we will be discussing the duration of permanent spousal maintenance.

Factors That Impact the Duration of Spousal Maintenance in Arizona

In general, spousal maintenance in Arizona will end when either the payer or the recipient passes away or when:

  • The recipient remarries or cohabitates with another party – While the remarriage can end spousal support obligations via presentation of the new marriage certificate to the court, to prove cohabitation, it may be necessary to establish that the recipient is receiving financial support from his or her new partner, that the recipient is receiving mail at the same residence as the new partner and/or that the recipient has entered into an exclusive romantic relationship with a new partner.
  • The payer experiences a material change in circumstances – Material changes in circumstances can include (but are by no means limited to) losing a job, having another child, developing a new illness or health impairment, etc. When such changes impact the payer’s financial circumstances, it can be possible to request modifications of spousal maintenance obligations.
Contact a Scottsdale Divorce Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

When you need experienced help protecting your rights and interests in an Arizona divorce case, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.

To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

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